Experience Gold Coast: Innovative Products for Asian Visitors
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This report documents the results of a research project which aimed to enhance the quality of the experiences provided by Australian tourism businesses. Tourism is a lead industry in the experience economy. In this new era, operators are seeking ways to provide experiences that offer unique and meaningful experiences for consumers, through dialogue and connection, rather than stock-standard, passive tours and products. As a leading Australian leisure tourism destination, the Gold Coast offers a variety of interesting and attractive experiences to its visitors and wants to be at the forefront of experiential tourism. The Gold Coast is receiving increasing numbers of Asian visitors and this research examined how to enhance the visitor experience, with a specific focus on developing product for the international student market. The research team worked closely with five Gold Coast tourism businesses which targeted younger visitors to enhance the experiences they offered. The research involved an initial series of qualitative focus groups with international students in Brisbane and the Gold Coast and was followed by a survey of both international and domestic students currently living in Australia. The results indicate that there are important differences in how to promote experiences to Asian (especially Chinese) students. Mobile phone based applications, such as Wechat, are important. The results also indicated significant cultural differences between the beach and water based attitude and behaviour of Australian and Chinese students. Fear of the open ocean and the surf waves and avoidance of the sun are frequent concerns of Chinese students. A number of recommendations as to how to address these culturally based concerns were made based on the research findings. The detailed results of the research are provided. The research project provides a model for how to improve experiential products to match the needs of new markets through close integration of academic researchers and industry participants.
© Griffith Institute for Tourism, Griffith University 2014. This information may be copied or reproduced electronically and distributed to others without restriction, provided the Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT) is acknowledged as the source of information. Under no circumstances may a charge be made for this information without the express permission of GIFT, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.