We joined a number of higher education institutions, marketing experts and tourism operators in meetings with local developers and we also got the opportunity to attend a number of expos, including the Australia – Sichuan Tourism Development and Education Showcase and the 4th Sichuan International Tourism Expo, where Australia was the featured country. While I haven’t yet fully composed my thoughts on the week (I’m writing this whilst still in transit home to Melbourne), I can make the following immediate observations:
- Austrade staff were magnificent in preparing our schedule and business to business meetings. I am pleased that the ACA has established a profile with this very influential group inside China and we will build on this relationship in the coming weeks.
- China is far too big a place to consider as a country – it is far more effective to focus on a province or city as these alone will involve populations greater than all of Australia.
- Australia is highly regarded as a place with a great natural environment and of course Australian camps are generally very well placed in some of our most beautiful regional areas. This is of growing interest to inbound group tours from China.
- Our immediate focus will be on improving our communication channels with China on behalf of you, our members. I am also now planning a series of workshops for members that addresses the steps to enable you to better promote yourselves to the Chinese market – stay tuned for details.
- It was wonderful to be able to meet with many Chinese developers and operators and to gain a better understanding of what makes that country tick. It was amazing to visit one development that will ultimately involve an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars and cover an enormous area. People think big in China!
Finally, although we were on a very busy schedule, we did have time here and there to enjoy the hospitality of our Chinese hosts, and of course our supporters in AusTrade based in China. If you ever get the opportunity, I absolutely recommend that you visit Chengdu in the SW of the country, or Xián, which had a population of 1M people 1,000 years ago – wonderful people and amazing natural beauty.