This post was done in partnership with UnionPay.
In 2012, there were 626,000 Chinese visitors to Australia. It is estimated that by 2020, the number of Chinese visitors to Australia is expected to reach 1 million, and these visitors will spend around $9 billion during their time here.
Clearly, Chinese visitors make up a large portion of Australia's tourism economy and Australian retailers are starting to take notice – however, many still don't understand how to communicate with and market to Chinese visitors.
Whether you've just started a small retail business or a franchise, it is paramount to create a Chinese-friendly environment in order to reach these consumers that are visiting Australia. If you're interested in learning how you can tap in to this burgeoning market, here are some ways to target Chinese tourists:
Have a staff member who can speak or understand Chinese
Perhaps the most obvious way to reach the Chinese market – and the most challenging – is to find someone to work in your business that speaks and understands Chinese, and can act as an interpreter or communicator for your company's products and values. If this isn't possible, have someone who speaks Chinese help you create some Chinese signs and labels to clearly indicate what products and services you offer.
If you run an online business and wish to target Chinese consumers, ensure that you have Chinese versions of your website and available.
Show them brands they recognise
If you were visiting another country overseas, what would make you feel more comfortable: a shop that clearly displays the Commonwealth Bank logo or a store that has no Australian-friendly information at all? When travelling, we all feel more inclined towards stores that are tourist-friendly – this is why it is crucial to show Chinese tourists brands they recognise in order to help your business become more Chinese-friendly.
For example, every person in China owns at least one UnionPay credit card – it's a brand they recognise and trust, and indicating that you accept UnionPay as a form of payment is vital in creating that relationship with Chinese tourists. In fact, it's been shown that retailers who place the UnionPay sticker in their window increase their sales by up to 20 times with Chinese customers. NAB and Commonwealth Bank currently accept UnionPay cards, and more Australian banks are following suit – ultimately, this costs you nothing but can reward your business endlessly.
Attend conferences and training sessions
Business and individuals are becoming aware of the significance of the Chinese market, and Tourism Australia has in fact released a China 2020 Strategic Plan to help Australians understand and reach these tourists more effectively. As such, more trainings and conferences are being held to help retailers and businesses gain the knowledge and skills to deal with the increased amount of Chinese visitors.
In 2013, the Australian Tourism Export Council held a training program called the China Ready Training Program – all in an effort to equip Australian businesses with the resources, knowledge, understanding and capacity to serve the Chinese market. More conferences and trainings are expected in future, so keep your eyes peeled – you never know when it will benefit your business.
Image courtesy of Photokanok / www.freedigitalphotos.net