Australia’s Tourism Communication in China


All the popular tourism countries have started communicating with their Chinese target because they are taking notice that Chinese travelers are visiting and spending large sums of money in countries they see in the media.

Australia chooses to communicate to the Chinese population through Chinese social networks. The country promote them self via Weibo playing clips of a popular sitcom 再一次心跳 (The Beatings of Love) set in Australia.

The drama series was one of ten most popular subjects on the social network. The sitcom is also published and promoted on a popular online video sharing site called  “Tudou”.


The Plot

The story of this sitcom tells the story of a dramatic romance between two young Chinese lovers, starred by very popular actors: Rainie Yang and Show Luo. The sentimental series begins in Australia (the movie is sponsored by the Commission of the Australian Tourism) and aims to promote the country unconsciously among Chinese Internet users.


The advertising campaign

Leo Seaton is the media relations director for Australia tourism. The director plans to influence more than 10 million people from this sitcom in China, one of the biggest tourism markets in the world.
The length is made up of five 10 minutes long episodes which are taken in five different destinations in Australia, respectively.

The promotion is mainly guaranteed by the public relations from “Tourism Australia” who includes the “Friends of Australia” program with the presence of international celebrities who travel to Australia as their destinations of holidays.

Show Luo is one of the most popular celebrities in China, famous for his songs, dancing abilities and his celebrity lifestyle. About ten million fans follow him on Sina Weibo and eight million more on QG. Rainie Yang, is a former singer and now turned actress also influences more than 7.5 million followers on QG.


China, a top priority

Asia and especially China are well known for their prosperous growth. Research were conducted on the recent consumption of the Chinese people, t0 give the Australia Tourism industry a better understanding of their habits and characteristic of Chinese tourists during their travel. The group was also able to realize enormous possibilities in the second-tier cities in China like Nanjing and Hangzhou, in particular thanks to the increasing number of the middle class living there.


How to measure such a success?

“Tourism in Australia” was a real success because the decision-makers saw the potential and the high commitment of video on demand and platforms to reach the Chinese consumers nationwide. The celebrities are very influential in generating marketing buzz for the Chinese market. Using celebrities to generate buzz in the social network circle considerably improves the result of the product.

In April 2011, Show Luo was in Australia performing in Sydney and Melbourne. With the sponsorship from the Tourism in Australia, Show Luo went to Far North of Queensland to make a few segments for an episode of the series.
Three clips in the series where Show Luo was shooting were made in Australia on location. It was the perfect opportunity for the Australian Tourism to leave a lasting memory in the Chinese consumer’s minds. The series seems to have conquered the heart of the Chinese public 再一次心跳 (the beatings of love) for it reign as the top trend on Weibo during days between the first and the second episode.
Here are some examples from users’ comments:
• “As long as my heart beats, I shall love you.” (只要我的心还在跳动, 我就会一直爱着你)
• “I always loved Australia. After this episode, I really want to go there!”» (一直很喜欢澳大利亚! 看了之后更加想去了!)
• “Wonderful episode, I want to go too to Australia!” (好好看, 我也想去澳大利亚 ~!)

To further increase the popularity of the drama series which is rapidly expanding, the operation “Tourism in Australia” decided to promote this new technique of advertisement on paper media, a campaign of direct mailing and promotion targeted with travel agencies.
It will also create a partnership with the airline company Cathay Pacific.


The Chinese market is much courted

Australia is not the only country interested in investing in the marketing of tourism in China. The Chinese tourists are the key factors for many countries hoping to develop and expand tourism.

The Chinese tourists will be the second biggest market in New Zealand for the next two years, thanks to the country’s aggressive media promotion action. Last year, New Zealand saw an increase of 23. 7 % of Chinese visitors compared to the previous years.
What’s more, Thailand have also set up a campaign to attract Chinese tourists. Seaton hopes to reach as many Chinese tourists as possible, with 62. 4 million visits of the videos it’s a total success.

(see the french version Australian tourism promotion)

What do you think? Brilliant or no?

Olivier VEROT
Marketing China