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Australian tourism prepares for Chinese tourists

The Australian tourism and travel industry has been warned that it must be ready for the 100 million strong Chinese tourists travelling abroad for the first time.
21 February 2012
Martin Craigs, cheif executive at the Pacific Asia Travel Association says Australia must be "export ready" for the expected increase in Chinese tourists over the next fewyears.

Chinese tourists have been shown to spend more on holiday than any other nationality and Tourism Australia believes that Chinese tourists could contribute as much as AU$20 billion (£13.5 billion) to the Australian economy by 2020.

The majority of China's tourists aren't expected to venture further than Hong Kong or Macau but Mr Craigs believes this "still leaves the odd million a week going somewhere else" and Australia had to be in prime position to welcome these visitors.

"If you are a retailer, it makes sense to provide people who can welcome those visitors," said Mr Craigs, commending steps London store Selfridges have made in employing Mandarin speakers to help Chinese customers.

Other steps integrated by retailers include learnign Chiense customs such as handing credit cards back with two hands and implementing marketing campaigns in mainland China.

Tourism Australia reported China as the fastest growing market segment as China rose to third in number of arrivals behind only New Zealand and the UK.