Mafengwo helps Australia woo more Chinese tourists

Chinese travel services and social networking platform Mafengwo has teamed up with Australia's tourism authority to help attract more Chinese tourists.

Tourism Australia will improve its tourism information and products on Mafengwo's mobile app and leverage the online travel community's abundant data to offer customized tourist services for users, especially individual travelers, according to an MOU on the strategic partnership signed Tuesday.

Chinese travelers value unique experiences more than ever and like to travel to faraway and off-the-beaten-track destinations. They will also revisit a place if they like it, observed Lyu Gang, co-founder and chief operating officer of Mafengwo.

The partnership is expected to help Tourism Australia gain deeper insight into Chinese consumers' travel preferences and habits so that richer and more reliable tourist information and products can be provided efficiently, according to John O'Sullivan, managing director of Tourism Australia.

China is Australia's largest source of inbound tourists, with over 1.4 million Chinese travelers visiting the country from May 2017 to May 2018, according to Andrew Hogg, general manager of the North Asia region with Tourism Australia.

Tourism Australia also signed a three-year strategic partnership with Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific to tap into China's growing business travel market.

Last year, about 106,000 Chinese business travelers visited Australia, spending A$591 million (443.0 million U.S. dollars).

Australia aims for its tourism sector to generate A$115 billion (85.2 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020, and China is considered the most important market to help achieve this target. Chinese tourists' contribution to Australian tourism revenue is expected to rise from A$5.4 billion (4.0 billion U.S. dollars) now to A$13 billion (9.6 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020.