Queensland launches new WeChat CityExperience Mini Program
An innovative new ‘mini program’ within WeChat, China’s most popular mobile application, will provide a platform to showcase some of Queensland’s key attractions to Chinese visitors.
The newly developed Queensland ‘CityExperience Mini Program’ is powered by content from Ctrip, Asia’s largest online travel company which has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tourism and Events Queensland.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said users of the app would be able to make bookings and payments with the program through its back-end integration with Ctrip.
“We’re working with the private sector to find new ways to grow our share of the international visitor market. This program will do just that,” she said.
“This initiative will help to ensure Queensland is front-of-mind for millions of Chinese tourists looking to book their next holiday.
“WeChat has a massive audience, more than one billion active monthly users, and we’re bringing Queensland content right to their phones through this new Queensland CityExperience Mini Program.”
Ms Jones said the app would also help tourists to book direct with Queensland companies.
“This partnership with China’s largest online travel company means it will be even easier for visitors to make direct bookings with Queensland businesses,” she said.
“This is about enhancing the travel experience for Chinese travellers and providing Queensland’s tourism operators an opportunity to connect with this market online.”
Ms Jones said China was Queensland’s largest market for international visitors.
The latest international visitor survey showed continued growth from China, with visitors spending $1.5 billion in the year ending March 2019 – that’s year-on-year growth of 27.6 per cent.
“Queensland tourism has grown by more than 20 per cent since 2014. That’s because we’re investing more in this industry than any government in Queensland’s history,” she said.
The program was developed in partnership with Tourism Australia, Ctrip and regional partners Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Tourism Whitsundays, Brisbane Marketing and Destination Gold Coast as part of the Queensland Government’s Connecting With Asia strategy.
Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said this was an exciting development for our tourism industry who will now be able to better interact with the growing number of Chinese visitors to Australia by using this hugely popular social media platform to help them design a unique travel experience.
“As Australia’s largest and most valuable market worth $12 billion, it is critical that we continue to find new ways to engage with and appeal to the Chinese market, and that is why the Coalition Federal Government recently invested in a new marketing campaign ‘Too Australian for Words’, to lure even more Chinese travellers to our shores,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Australia’s tourism industry has much to gain from the lucrative Chinese market which is now increasingly favouring free and independent travel over group tours, and this new software is exactly the type of innovation we need for this new and emerging market.”
General Manager of Ctrip Destination Marketing Department general manager Edison Chen said the partnership with TEQ would pay off for Queensland.
“We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia to launch this innovative project and look forward to seeing more Chinese travellers discovering new destinations and attractions in Queensland.”
The program is designed to be an interactive guide that helps tourists make the most out of their stay in Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays, Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Through a map-driven layout, visitors will get an interactive tour through top attractions, including accommodation, restaurants and shops.
The app will also feature travel guides prepared by Tourism and Events Queensland, travel blogs by key opinion leaders, suggested itineraries and an FAQ section.