Battle of the sexes key in marketing to China

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Understanding gender and generational differences within the Chinese population is key to cashing in on Australia’s biggest tourism market, according to new research from Edith Cowan University.

The research showed Australia’s sunny beaches, good climate and native animals were the main attraction for young Chinese women in their 20s and 30s.

However men of the same age, as well as older generations born in their 40s and 50s, found opportunities for shopping, nightlife, adventure activities and safety in Australia were more attractive.

Lead author Professor Sam Huang from ECU’s School of Business and Law said the research provided valuable information for improving Australia’s marketing to the country’s largest overseas tourist market.

“As part of this research we wanted to look at differences within the Chinese tourism market because tourism marketing doesn’t usually look that deeply at our audiences,” he said.

“We identified that there were real differences between genders and between different generations.”

The research seems to validate Australia’s marketing campaigns towards international travellers which focus on the natural beauty of Australia and the country’s unique animals and landscapes.

“The research shows that we need to target men and women in the Chinese market differently if we want to get the most out of our marketing campaigns,” Professor Huang said.

“We should be tailoring our marketing to better influence men and women with the particular aspect of Australia that appeals to them.

“Men may be more utility driven, they’re concerned about safety and having good access to shopping, sport and entertainment activities.”

“Australia can target Chinese men with marketing showing our great sporting and entertainment options like AFL, cricket or other sporting events we’re known for.”

The research also provides a hint at how marketing should change as China’s population ages and tastes change.

The study surveyed 670 Chinese people from the city of Harbin.

Respondents were asked how their attraction toward visiting Australia was influenced by Australia’s natural environment, tourism services and provisions and quality of life.

The research team targeted Harbin, a so-called second tier Chinese city, which Professor Huang says is a good example of a prime market for Australia to target for attracting Chinese tourists.

The research was published in the Journal of Vacation Marketing and is available on their website.

Source: ECU

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