Published: December 14, 2017

South Australia – and in particular, Adelaide – is becoming a preferred travel destination for Chinese tourists – and it is leading to a spike in investment by local businesses to help cater for the market.

Chinese visitation numbers have risen 56 per cent within the past year which has spurred a rise in investment by Asian-inspired companies and shops in the state.

Statistics released by the City of Adelaide on its Invest Adelaide dashboard showed that China was the highest ranked non-English speaking country to visit the city.

Lord Mayor of Adelaide Martin Haese said the figures proved the city was increasingly being chosen as a preferred destination for Chinese nationals, and was becoming a hotspot for people looking to set up shop and expand their companies on an international scale.

“Adelaide is increasingly seeing Chinese tourists visit our vibrant city and taking notice of all we have to offer,” Martin said.
“In the year to June 2017, we have welcomed more than 56,000 Chinese visitors to South Australia and the Adelaide CBD who have enjoyed our food, festivals, sports and sights, to name just a few.

“Being able to ensure repeat tourism from our Chinese visitors is absolutely critical for future growth in our city and it is pleasing to assist more businesses to set up and expand their offering to our Chinese guests.”

The data also suggested the main reason Chinese residents were buying a ticket to South Australia was to simply enjoy a holiday or visit friends and relatives.

In order for these visitors to be able to enjoy what the city and the state have to offer, local businesses have been seeking ways to improve their operations to enhance Chinese experiences.

Tech entrepreneurs Simon Henry and Andrew Taylor are among the businesses owners leading the way, having launched a world-first smartphone app, UWAI, which helps users – Chinese nationals – to find and engage with Australian companies, removing language barriers that often restrict communication.

They chose to use Adelaide as the test case for the world first app and have already seen a great response.

In the first four weeks, the app signed up more than 1,000 local businesses and points of interest.

“We looked at three cities in Australia when deciding where to launch the app – our first stop was South Australia and basically we couldn’t leave,” Simon said.

“Our goals for UWAI are simple: ensure Chinese tourists have such a great time while abroad that they come back again and again, ensure local businesses realise the value and opportunity of being open for Chinese business and, most importantly, to play a role in fostering growth in global tourisms contribution to GDP, and breaking down cultural barriers.”

“The availability of great people, the cost of doing business, accessibility and the lifestyle makes doing business, and setting up a business in South Australia amazing,” Simon said.

“Engaging effectively with international tourist’s means greater turnover for businesses and greater Chinese tourist satisfaction.  With UWAI it is as simple as providing your business information to us in English, and we do the rest: translation, display on our apps, point of sale tools and distribution of your information globally.”

“Thanks to Government, City of Adelaide and industry initiatives, South Australia is able to punch above its weight in recognition in China.”