IT and Social Media
A Chinese language website and a page on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Facebook, has helped drive a more than 300% rise in Chinese tourists visiting a key travel destination in Australia.
Scenic World in the Blue Mountains, Australia, has experienced a 303% increase in tourists from China, and much of that increase can be attributed to the impact of Social Media.
China is now Scenic World’s strongest inbound market with an annual growth rate of 28%. Chinese travelers now account for 15% of the 850,000 travelers exploring the Jurassic Jamison Valley floor each year.
Dedicated China Marketing Campaign
The results follow a marketing campaign launched in 2006 by Scenic World. The campaign was targeted at Chinese travelers in collaboration with international marketing partner Australian Attractions.
Traditional marketing strategies, social media, digital media marketing, and various other creative concepts were employed.
“Scenic World is perfect for this market as it provides a unique, accessible and world-class Australian rain forest experience,” says Scenic World Head of Marketing Amanda Byrne.
Digital Media as an Influencer
“This campaign has been about reaching the Chinese market in their homeland, and we’ve developed great incentives as well as dedicating considerable efforts to digital media as an influencer.”
As part of the strategic campaign, multiple annual visits have been conducted to such first tier Chinese cities as Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai as well as to second tier Chinese cities.
Scenic World’s website has also been translated into Chinese, and self-drive itineraries have been created for Chinese travelers.
Weibo – Chinese Social Media Platform
Neither Facebook nor Twitter are generally accessible in China. For this reason, Scenic World added the Chinese social media platform Weibo to its multifaceted China marketing plan.
“It is crucial that our engagement with the Chinese market is not limited to their on site visit, but begins when they are considering Australia as a destination so we can actively influence,” says Australian Attractions CEO Ken Corbett.
Because of its early success with Weibo, Scenic World has continued its trial with the site. By the end of October 2012, Scenic World had 16,400 Weibo followers recorded at the end of October 2012.
“It has become the most followed tourist attraction in Australia on Weibo,” Amanda says”, adding that only Tourism Queensland has more Chinese followers on Weibo.
Scenic World 101
Australia’s most visited privately owned tourist attraction, Scenic World has unique rides that connect visitors to an ancient rain forest. Scenic World is a family operated business spanning three generations.
Scenic World attracts more than 850,000 visitors annually to ride the Scenic Railway, which is the steepest in the world, and the highest skyway in Australia. They can also walk along the Scenic Walkway spanning 2.4 kilometres, the longest boardwalk in the Southern Hemisphere.