Analysis of Chinese Tourist Arrivals and Expenditures in Australia
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Inbound tourism demand has been a significant contributor to Australia’s national economy. Subsequently, sustaining this industry is critically important. In the past decade, China has emerged as one of the most significant tourist source countries for Australia. Focused on Chinese holiday travellers to Australia, this study examined the demand in this market, both in terms of tourist arrivals and expenditures. Secondary data on historical holiday arrivals from China to Australia was obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and a univariate time series analysis was performed. A comprehensive comparison of the forecasting performance of various forecasting models found that the Winters’ multiplicative exponential technique is the most suitable forecasting method to project future demand for the Chinese holiday market to Australia. The five-year forecasts show that this market will continue to grow in the mid-term future, however, at a decelerating pace and with a clear seasonal pattern. A questionnaire survey gathered data from 380 Chinese holiday travellers regarding their expenditures and experiences in Australia. On top of the pre-paid package price, Chinese holiday travellers spent considerable amounts of money during the trip, and their expenses have largely flowed into the sectors of duty free shops, restaurants, casinos and night entertainment places. Shopping expenditure was identified as the largest component of Chinese holiday travellers’ expenditure in Australia. Chinese travellers’ total and disaggregated expenditures on various categories of goods and services in Australia were determined by different sets of economic, social demographic and psychological characteristics, which can be used to profile high yield segments in this market. With respect to travellers’ total expenditure, a number of variables were found to differentiate high spending travellers from low spending travellers, including income, age, place of residence, travel party size, length of stay, and visitation to destination(s) other than Australia. Several issues were identified in relation to Chinese travellers’ perception of, and satisfaction with Australia as a tourist destination. Destination attributes related to shopping, accessibility, entertainment/nightlife, museums/art galleries and language were areas where Australia underperformed on perception. In addition, “food”, “shopping” and “tour itinerary” were identified as sources of dissatisfaction. There were also gaps between travellers’ pre- and post-trip perceptions of Australia in various destination attributes. These need to be dealt with immediately to avoid an adverse impact on the future demand in this market. The time series analysis of tourist arrivals and cross-sectional examination of expenditure together provided a comprehensive investigation into the holiday travel demand from China to Australia, resulting in a number of practical implications for Australia in relation to destination planning, management and marketing. A number of directions for future research were suggested, such as examining the role of psychological characteristics in determining travel expenditure, further testing the relationship between expenditure and satisfaction, and using other forecasting techniques.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Hospitality, Sports and Leisure
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