Coast and culture natural drawcards for the Chinese

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Albany is a one of Western Australia’s top five destinations for Chinese tourists, according to a new Curtin University report.

Curtin University head researcher Cecilia Xia said most Chinese tourists who visited the region were between 25 and 29 years old and were willing to make the journey from Perth to enjoy Albany’s coastline and fresh seafood.

Ms Xia said she used Australian tourism data and interviewed more than 200 Chinese tourists for the project.

“Our research is quite detailed,” she said. “We analysed these tourists’ experiences through social media and the travel blogs Chinese tourists use.

“They found Albany to be very diverse — it has natural beauty but also a cultural diversity that they find authentic.”

Ms Xia said Chinese tourism in WA had developed because of the growth of China’s middle class in recent years.

She said the growth had given them the capacity to travel and spend their money internationally, including in Australia.

City of Albany business development and tourism manager, Matthew Hammond said China had “continuously presented significant tourism opportunities within the ... region”.

“The ability to offer products and services tailored to Chinese visitors remains important in growing visitation,” Mr Hammond said.

“A trade engagement strategy is currently being delivered for our region, which focuses on promoting the Amazing South Coast to markets such as China.”

Ms Xia and her team will reveal their findings on Chinese tourist activity in regional WA at a seminar at Albany’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development office this week.

She said the project findings would benefit local businesses by revealing tourist spending patterns and destination preferences within the South West region.

The report will be released on Thursday.

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