China Strategy Launched in Melbourne

AN40-1-news-ChinaPremier Ted Baillieu has launched Victoria's China Tourism Strategy at the Australia-China Business Week luncheon in Melbourne.

Mr Baillieu said China was Victoria's fastest growing tourism market with more than a quarter of a million Chinese tourists expected to visit this year, and the new ten year strategy aimed to take this growth to new heights.

"The strategy aims to lift the growth of China's tourism market in Victoria from 7% to more than 11% per year," Mr Baillieu said.

"The strategy would generate almost 42,000 additional jobs in Victoria, deliver up to $2.3 billion in annual visitor expenditure and boost gross state product over the ten year period by $18.2 billion.

"Victoria's China Tourism Strategy sets out a clear plan with five key priorities and an agenda that will engage government, business and the tourism industry to strengthen Victoria's relationship with China to reach ambitious targets that will deliver significant economic benefits," Mr Baillieu said.

The five priorities are:

• strengthening Victoria's market positioning;
• building on Victoria's strong education, migrant and business links;
• improving visitor access with China;
• enhancing the quality of the visitor experience; and
• aligning tourism investment to the Chinese visitor market.

Mr Baillieu said part of Victoria's China Tourism Strategy was an $8 million China tourism marketing campaign.

Tourism and major events minister Louise Asher said the strategy – the first of its kind for Victoria – was a blueprint for the tourism industry and business sector to leverage opportunities and address the challenges that lie ahead.

"The economic benefits of this market, worth $816 million last year alone, will depend on how well we deliver new and innovative experiences and satisfy the consumer demands of Chinese visitors," Ms Asher said.

"Other key aims of our strategy include improving Chinese language and cultural literacy services in Victoria and implementing a sophisticated digital marketing strategy," Ms Asher said.

According to the International Visitor Survey, China is Victoria's largest source of international overnight visitor arrivals, after overtaking New Zealand in the year ending December 2011.

Chinese visitors spent $816 million in Victoria in the year ending December 2011, the highest figure of any international market and representing a substantial increase of 19.1 per cent compared to the previous year.

Mr Baillieu said China was Victoria's largest and most important trading partner and this solid base would become a dynamic driver of growth and prosperity for Victoria over the next 30 years.

Victoria and China enjoy a deep bilateral relationship with strong ties and a number of linkages through trade and formalised partnerships," Mr Baillieu said.

Victoria's China Tourism Strategy maps out key priorities relating to market positioning, airline connections, investment, improving the Chinese visitor experience and building on Victoria's strong education, migration and business links with China.