REVEALED: Australia the most popular country for first-time Chinese travellers

AUSTRALIA has taken out the top spot as the most popular country for first-time visits for Chinese travellers, with the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne continuing to dominate as preferred Aussie holiday destinations.

The result was revealed in a new report published by on Wednesday.

“In the year that saw China become Australia’s largest and most valuable inbound tourism market, the Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) report found Australia to be the most popular country for first-time visits for Chinese travellers, recovering from a third position slump last year,” Marketing Manager David Spasovic said.

“This top spot was taken out after a three per cent year-on-year increase, beating out Canada and France”.

According to the popular booking website, Chinese travellers have also significantly increased their travel expenditure down under, spending 40 per cent more than last year.

The report found Chinese travellers spent a record $10.4 billion on their Aussie travels, with millennials born after 1990 driving the trend.

Interestingly, Australia’s appeal seems to revolve largely around our once-in-a-lifetime “must see” destinations and landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef, with film and television (62%) and social media (52%) also revealed as the main source of inspiration for Chinese travellers.

According to the report, Sydney (73%), Melbourne (61%), and the Gold Coast (33%) continue to dominate as the preferred destinations for future Chinese travel plans.

Gold Coast Airport

Passengers can now have a prescription filled at Gold Coast Airport

An on-site pharmacy has recently opened its doors at Gold Coast Airport, giving passengers the chance to have a prescription filled before departing, or upon arrival.

The brand new Airport Pharmacy has a pharmacist onsite from 6:30am to 8:30pm daily and also offers a range of products including cosmetics, perfumes, over the counter medication and vitamins.

Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the addition of a pharmacy to the airport’s retail offering came about following a recent passenger satisfaction survey.

“When we asked our passengers what service they most wanted to see, there was overwhelming for support for a pharmacy,” she said.

“Airport Pharmacy is an experienced operator with outlets at Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns and Singapore Changi airports.”

Marion Charlton and Rajiv Bhindi GCA

Marion Charlton and Rajiv Bhindi | PHOTO: Supplied by Gold Coast Airport

Airport Pharmacy director Rajiv Bhindi said it was exciting to be bringing the Airport Pharmacy concept to Australia’s sixth busiest airport.

“We have been looking at opportunities to expand and believe the Gold Coast is an ideal location, with more than six and a half million passengers passing through the airport each year,” he said.

“People are looking for convenience and while the pharmacy will make life easier for passengers, it will also be great for the many staff and workers around the airport.

“Currently there is a limited number of after-hours and weekend pharmacies on the southern Gold Coast, so Airport Pharmacy will help meet the needs of the surrounding area as well.”


Qld Government hopeful ‘Gold Coast Scented Tea’ will lure Japanese to our shores

Have you ever been inspired to visit a country after sniffing your cup of tea?

In an innovative attempt to lure more Japanese visitors to the Gold Coast, the Queensland Government has worked with a Japanese company to develop a range of tea that smells just like the Coast.

And yes, we’re being serious.

According to Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones, five different herbal teas have been developed to inspire Japanese travellers to visit the Gold Coast, with inspiration for the warm beverage drawn from the aromas of our sun, surf and greenery.

“The ‘kaori tabi’ teas capture the scents of the five iconic Gold Coast locations of Surfers Paradise, Natural Bridge, Gold Coast Hinterland, Lamington National Park and Burleigh Heads,” Ms Jones said.

Kaori Tabi

PHOTO: Supplied

The teas are a part of a unique campaign jointly developed by Tourism and Events Queensland and Destination Gold Coast from an original concept presented by digital agency Dentsu Isobar.

“The ‘kaori tabi’ campaign is specifically aimed at young working females, aligning with TEQ’s Queensland Asia Tourism Strategy which identifies millennials as a key target market,” Ms Jones said.

“Through market research we’ve identified that millennial visitors are young, sophisticated, independent travellers seeking unique and original experiences in destinations that have brag-ability.

“I’m confident this campaign will capture the attention of young working females in Tokyo and Osaka who are large consumers of organic and detox products like herbal teas.”

Destination Gold Coast CEO Martin Winter said he believes it’s the first time a “tourism marketing organisation has employed AI technology to capture the aromatic elements of a destination and then use it to appeal to a consumers’ sense of smell in market to heighten consideration.”

The herbal teas will be used by Japanese retail giant H.I.S. to secure holiday bookings for the Gold Coast in selected Tokyo branches.


Gold Coast tourist parks inducted into TripAdvisor ‘Hall of Fame’

THREE Gold Coast Tourist Parks have been inducted into TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame for maintaining five years of outstanding service and excellent customer reviews.

For the second consecutive year, all eight of the city’s council-owned tourist parks were awarded the respected international travel site’s Certificate of Excellence.

But it’s the fifth year in a row that the Main Beach, Broadwater and Tallebudgera parks have been reocgnised, earning themselves a coveted spot on the site’s Hall of Fame.

More than 600 of the 651 reviews left on TripAdvisor’s site for the Broadwater park are positive.

It’s a similar story for the Tourist Park at Main Beach where ninety-one per cent of its 575 reviews are for “excellent” or “very good” service.

Acting Mayor Donna Gates said caravanning and camping holidays had been part of the Gold Coast experience for at least a century.

“We’re the best … it’s as simple as that,” the Acting Mayor said.

“The key is that we ensure the traditional family holiday fun we all grew up with is preserved through the in-house activities, and facilities, at all our parks.

“Council has recently endorsed a new strategic plan to outline future growth and investment in the City’s tourist park portfolio.

“Each of our parks is unique and the strategy involves preparing investment plans to ensure we capture the essence of individual parks and their offerings.

“South Stradbroke is unique across all our parks so I encourage anyone who hasn’t camped out with the wallabies to get to South Straddie and enjoy this magical spot.”

Gold Coast Skyline Surfers Paradise

Gold Coast Tourism announces new CEO to replace Martin Winter

200 candidates have been whittled down to one, for the role of Gold Coast Tourism (GCT) boss, with the corporation today confirming who will take over as CEO after Martin Winter departs.

Mr Winter resigned from the position he has held for ten years back in March, prompting a landslide of applications.

GCT Chairman Paul Donovan announced Annaliese Battista as the person who will take on the leadership role.

“Ms Battista comes from the City of Perth where she has led the Directorate responsible for the City’s Economic Development and Activation,” Mr Donovan explained in a statement on Friday.

“Ms Battista will build on the current strong position of GCT and the City of Gold Coast, through a fresh approach with innovative and creative plans,” he added.

“The enthusiasm and passion for the role, proven deliverables in her current role, executive leadership skills and an understanding of the drivers of our city, were key factors in the appointment.”

Annaliese Battista will take over as CEO of GCT in August. Image: Supplied

Ms Battista (pictured) admitted it was an easy decision to move across the country to the beautiful Gold Coast.

“I had no trouble in convincing my husband, who works in marketing internationally, to relocate to the Gold Coast,” she joked.

“I see the Gold Coast has the best Australia can offer for local, Australian and International visitors. Through the activation of the city we can optimise the contribution of visitors to the economic, social and cultural return on investment.

“This benefits the City’s businesses, residents, workers and other key stakeholders.”

Ms Battista will hit the ground running on 6 August 2018, with Mr Winter’s departure date to be determined through a structured transition plan.