Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb joined Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, John O’Sullivan at the North Asia Business Events Showcase in Shanghai, one of a series of events taking place this week in China as part of Australia Week in China.

Mr Robb also released figures that showed future spending by Chinese visitors to Australia could rise to A$13 billion by 2020. The last spending estimate from Tourism Australia was A$9 billion, released in November 2011, with the increased estimate due to a projected growth in business events and independent travellers.

"We are seeing positive signs of a change in the visitor mix from China - a shift to a more independent, higher spending Chinese visitor, enjoying higher quality visitor experiences. This is exactly the lucrative market we are actively targeting," Mr Robb said.

China is Australia’s fastest growing market in terms of business events spend, growing by almost 30 per cent from 2012 to 2013, attributed in part to a boom in large incentive group events heading to Australia.

Mr O’Sullivan said the hosting of the North Asia Showcase sought to highlight Australia’s corporate meeting and incentive offering, by targeting decision-makers in one of its fastest growing regions for business.

“China has become an important incentive market for Australia with large numbers of delegates and high value groups,” he said.

Tourism Australia this week also launched a major tourism campaign in China specifically targeting independent travellers.

The campaign is part of Tourism Australia's 'There's Nothing Like Australia' overarching marketing initiative and is expected to reach up to 17 million people across key Chinese cities.

Mr O’Sullivan said it will seek to demonstrate Australia’s credentials as an ideal destination for personalised travel by highlighting many of the country’s unique and most distinctive holiday experiences.

“Chinese travel attitudes are changing from groups on sightseeing tours to individuals looking for unique, more personal experiences. This is very much what this campaign will seek to capitalize on by presenting a more contemporary, sophisticated and energetic Australia," Mr O’Sullivan said.

The campaign includes advertising displays in train stations, giant bill boards at landmark buildings as well as TV, radio, newspaper and online ads. There will also be a strong advocacy and social media focus, using popular Chinese platforms such as Weibo and Baidu to harness some of the 90% of Chinese visitors who tell us they loved their holiday in Australia.

Earlier this year, China became the first country Australia has allowed to access a three-year multiple entry visa for business visitors and the Coalition Government granted increased seating capacity to Chinese airlines to help cater for increased demand during the busy Chinese New Year period in Australia.

China remains Australia's fastest growing and most valuable inbound tourism market, with 709,300 Chinese visitor arrivals in 2013 spending approximately $4.7 billion.

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