Published on Sep 26, 2017

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China Tourism Markets Growing


As China continues to grow into one of NSW’s largest inbound travel markets, it’s important for Hunter Valley Wine Country’s businesses to be ready to service their new fleet of customers.


Approved Destination Status (ADS) travel is an agreement between Chinese and Australian governments where Chinese visitors can travel on guided group tours organised by ADS travel agents. Many visitors enter Australia on ADS visas because it gives them a fully planned Initinerary, tour guide and translator.


Alternatively, an increasing number of Chinese travellers are applying for individual tourist visas to travel independently.



A brief overview of market segments from China according to Destination NSW’s China Toolkit:


Chinese visitors to NSW (general)

  • 84% shop for pleasure during trip
  • 90% participate in outdoor or nature activities including visiting national parks, botanic gardens, visiting farms and bushwalking.
  • Over 25% do self-drive


Chinese Holiday Visitors to NSW

  • 60% travelled in groups
  • 40% were free independent travellers
  • 75% were first time visitors to Australia
  • More than half were aged 45+


Chinese Group Tour (ADS) Visitors to NSW

  • 97% were “holiday” visitors
  • Popular activities: beach, shopping, sightseeing and visiting botanic gardens
  • Spend on average $1,147
  • Stay on average 2.4 nights


Chinese Free Independent Travellers (FITs) to NSW

  • 40% of all Chinese holiday visitors are FITs
  • Increasingly book online
  • More confident, flexible travellers, seek broader range of experiences
  • May book their activities and experiences on arrival
  • Spend more on average than group travellers – $3,760
  • Stay on average 6.6 nights
  • 70% are return visitors to Australia
  • 2/3 are aged under 45


Chinese Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) visitors to NSW

  • 60% aged 45+
  • 2/3 are female
  • 75% travel by car
  • Stay in homes of friends/relatives
  • Stay longer on average around 42 nights


Niche Markets

  • Opportunities to develop tailored agri-tourism products
  • Business visitors like to visit attractions and dine in restaurants
  • Incentive travel from China is growing – where high performing employees are rewarded with luxury travel experiences
  • Golf and wine based visitation is growing
  • Luxury travellers have high service expectations seeking high-end experiences


A key objective of Destination NSW’s China Tourism Strategy to 2020 is to protect the state’s current market leadership for Chinese visitation.


The Australian Government provides a Translation and Interpreting Service (TIS), which provides interpreters in a number of languages for a fee, including via a 24-hour Automated Telephone Interpreting Service (ATIS). For more information on this paid service, contact the TIS client liaison team on 1300 655 820 or visit


Tourism businesses with products suited to Chinese visitors may register interest in participating in relevant media visits by contacting


Find out more on the Chinese market from Destination NSW’s resources. Read Destination NSW’s China Tourism Strategy 2012 – 2020. For more information on becoming export ready, trade events and missions, visit .