KEY tourism trade partners from China, Hong Kong and, for the first time, Taiwan have gathered today for Ni Hao WA 2018.
The event, hosted by the State Government through Tourism Western Australia, includes workshops, business meetings and familiarisation tours of WA’s regions to ensure visiting agents get a first-hand experience of what the state has to offer.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the event would not only showcase the state, but help grow business relationships with key tourism trade partners in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“Welcoming visitors from across Greater China is one of Tourism WA’s top priorities as these visitors make a significant contribution to the state’s economy through visitor spending,” he said.
China has emerged as a key priority market for WA in a few short years, with the number of Chinese visiting the state rising to 58,600 in the year ending December 2017 – a 14.2 per cent increase on the previous year.
China has become WA’s highest source of international visitor spending with $291 million contributed to the economy – a 15.5 per cent increase on 2016
Leisure visitors have spent $102 million while in WA, representing a 25.1 per cent increase from 2016.
The fifth annual Ni Hao (Mandarin Chinese for ‘hello’) WA is the biggest to date with a record number of buyers, including 25 from China, nine from Hong Kong and four from Taiwan, as well as Chinese trade media.
Fifty delegates from 41 WA tourism businesses attended the event too.
“Ni Hao delegates have had some extraordinary experiences in WA this year, including a wild seafood experience in Mandurah; wine, chocolate and honey tastings in the Swan Valley; a trip to the beautiful Hutt Lagoon – or Pink Lake – in Geraldton; and a look through Nature Window in Kalbarri National Park,” Mr Papalia said.
Hong Kong remains an important source market for WA, with more than 24,000 visitors contributing $83 million to the economy- a 9.2 per cent rise from the previous year.