Chinese tourists are starting to turn to WA for their first Australian holiday, rather than the traditional trips to see the Sydney Opera House or the Great Barrier Reef.
Tourism WA’s top man in north Asia, Johnny Nee, says the trend is emerging as more affluent and adventurous Chinese tourists look for unique holiday experiences.
More than 51,000 Chinese tourists visited WA last year — up 17.4 per cent on 2015.
And while they were here, they spent $252 million — or almost $5000 each, nearly three times the national average.
“There is no doubt WA is appealing to well-heeled, sophisticated Chinese tourists who are looking for a different holiday experience,” Mr Nee said. “WA’s appeal is its extraordinary scenery and nature-based experiences and attractions.
“These tourists are choosing to head to WA instead of the more iconic Australian destinations and attractions. This is a new trend.
“But it has emerged as more people have got to hear what WA has to offer.”
Growth in the Chinese market helped WA attract a record 954,000 international visitors last year — up more than 100,000, or 12.4 per cent, on the previous year.
To further promote WA, Mr Nee and Tourism WA’s China marketing manager Andy Xu have brought nearly 50 travel agents from China and Hong Kong to Perth in the past week.
Known as Ni Hao WA, it provides the agents with the opportunity to meet local tourism operators and see some of the State’s attractions.
“Events such as Ni Hao WA have the dual benefit of showcasing the State to those selling WA to travellers in China while introducing WA tourism businesses to Chinese travel agents who know what their clients want,” Tourism WA chief executive Gwyn Dolphin said. “We are continuing to have success with co-operative marketing campaigns in China.”