Celebrating China In Australia

Lucy MacDonald Connolly & Ruoxin Zhou

  • Chinese tourists have been enticed to celebrate their traditional festivities in Australia
  • Events that are not specifically Chinese seek to incorporate Chinese culture
  • Australian businesses can utilise Chinese travel bloggers to benefit from the increase of Chinese tourism to Australia

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage and dancing

Image Source: Chinese dragon in Sydney. Weekend Notes, https://www.weekendnotes.com/celebrate-lunar-new-year-sydney/

Whether you are celebrating New Years Eve or Chinese New Year, you can be assured that Australia will provide the perfect event for all festivities. Australian celebrations embrace the countries diversity by incorporating international traditions through staple celebratory events. Australia’s high Chinese population has made it a particularly great place for Chinese festivities.

Chinese tourists have reason to celebrate their holidays in Australia

Whilst many may not think it, Sydney’s Lunar Festival is one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia. With as many as 80 events across arts, culture, food and sport. During the Lunar New Year, it is not uncommon to witness a dragon dance on the streets of Sydney, making many Chinese Australians feel at home during this important time of the year. This feeling can also be extended to Sina’s predicted 7 million Chinese people that will travel outside of China for the Lunar New Year.

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and water

Image Source: Sydney Opera House during Vivid Sydney event. Vivid Sydney, https://www.australia.com/en/events/festivals-and-celebrations/vivid-sydney.html

The Lunar New Year is not the only Australian festivity that appeals to potential Chinese tourists. Vivid Sydney combines art and technology to beautifully transform the city through innovative light sculptures. Some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Sydney Opera House, are covered in colourful artwork that captures the true beauty of Australia. In recent years, more Asian artwork has been incorporated into the event, such Dr. Tianli Zu’s piece ‘I Dance With You’. The piece depicted the Chinese mythical Qilin beast to symbolise prosperity and peace. This art piece will pave the way for further incorporations of Chinese artwork into the event in the hopes to increase further Chinese tourism to this spectacular event.

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Image Source: ‘I Dance With You’ art instillation piece. Tianlizu, http://tianlizu.com/works/installation/i-dance-with-you/

Chinese travel bloggers opening doors to the Chinese market

On the popular Chinese travel blog website, Mafengwo, articles on Vivid Sydney have accumulated impressive hits, with the top article receiving 103,117 views. Yet, more could be done to effectively market Vivid Sydney to the Chinese market in a way that could benefit multiple Australian companies. Chinese travel bloggers share intricate details of their entire travelling experience, from events they attend to food recommendations. With just a click of a button, viewers can go from the travel blog straight to the website of your business. This provides local Australian companies the opportunity to increase or kick start their presence in China simply through one travel blogger recommending their brand. With the Chinese International Travel Monitor’s research that shows 69% of Chinese tourists enjoy tasting local food, this is a particularly great opportunity for Australian cuisine industries to advertise their brand to Chinese holiday seekers. Travel KOLs have the trust of their followers which can be the start of initiating trust between Chinese consumers and Australian brands through KOL endorsement.

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Image Source: Travel blogger post on Chinese social media app. Little red book, username: 恩琳小猪

Golden Week set to potentially bring millions of Chinese tourists to Australia

Better known as Golden Week, from the 1st to the 7th of October, the Chinese have a whole week off work to celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Half of the country use this as a rare opportunity to travel outside of their home cities with travel platform Xiecheng estimating 7 million people chose to spend their Golden Week abroad in 2018. This number is only expected to increase as the crowds in China during the holiday greatly tarnish celebrations. According to Skyscanner, 2018 saw a whopping 42% decrease in Chinese tourists travelling to the United States during their Golden Week due to the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. South Korea, a previous favourite Golden Week destination also experienced a decline in Chinese tourism leaving Australia with an excellent opportunity to takeover. With the utilisation of travel KOLs, Chinese tourists could easily be enticed to spend their time celebrating Golden week in Australia.

Australian industries can utilise Chinese travel KOLs to make potential tourists aware of the events that celebrate Chinese festivities. Australia is a perfect destination for Chinese tourists to celebrate their traditions whilst experiencing the culture and localities of a new and exciting place. Perhaps in the future there will be specific events during China’s Golden Week. For now, the promotion of Australian tourist attractions and Australian businesses by travel KOLs will entice Chinese tourists.

Image may contain: crowd, night and outdoor           Image may contain: one or more people, crowd, night and outdoor

Image Source:Crowds in China during Golden Week. Youth.cn, http://picture.youth.cn/qtdb/201810/t20181005_11747028_8.htm

Image Source: Crowds in China during Golden Week. Ecns.cn http://www.ecns.cn/visual/hd/2012/10-08/7443.shtml

Australia hosts many events throughout the year where a variety of collaborations with Chinese influencers can take place with local brands or the event itself:

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve

Bring in the New Year amidst the landscape of Sydney’s city skyline, and experience Sydney’s world-renowned firework display cascade down the Harbour Bridge. Visitors may also choose to head to the water on Sydney’s New Year’s Eve Cruise, which hosts dinner and entertainment for the ultimate party experience.

Key dates: 31st December, 2019

Australia Day

This epic day celebrates everything great about being Australian, and is enjoyed outdoors, in parks or at the beach. Sydney’s Harbour bridge sets the stage for an unforgettable schedule of live entertainment throughout the day, followed by fireworks from 9pm.

Key dates: 26th January, 2020

Sydney Chinese New Year

Discover Sydney as the city transforms into a foreshore of life, filled with lanterns, dragon boat races, on the landscape of Darling Harbour. The city holds this spectacular event to celebrate the onset of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Key dates: tbc January, 2020

Melbourne Chinese New Year

Attracting crowds of up to 80,000 each year, the Victoria Street Lunar New Year celebrations holds a spectacular month-long variety of food stalls, wine offerings and live performances each night. People from all backgrounds are brought together to celebrate diversity and community.

Key dates: 22nd – 25th January, 2020.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Comedians from all backgrounds are invited to take center stage at theatres, pub and clubs during this festival. The festival gives spotlight to Australian and International talent, and offers hundreds of shows, with baseline tickets averaging at $30 per head.

Key dates: March 25th – April 19th 2020.

Vivid Sydney

The multi-award-winning festival of light, music and ideas displayed across Sydney. A free public exhibition for all the family and enjoyed by over 2 million people each year, Vivid Sydney has something spectacular for everyone.

Key dates: 22nd May – 13th of June 2020.

Splendour in the Grass

Experience everything from indie pop to alternative rock as local and internationally-renowned talents take the stage at one of Australia’s most popular music events every year.

Key dates: 19-21st July 2019 (TBC) @ Byron Bay, New South Wales

Melbourne International Film Festival

Australia’s largest film festival runs from 17 days and has attracted crowds of over 200,000 people per year. The festival includes a 4-day conference, called South Market, where filmmakers, directors, distributors, producers, and other industry experts are encouraged to convene, network, attend workshops and lectures. The festival showcases both local and international talent and offers various prizes for best films of the year.

Key dates: 1-18th August, 2019

Melbourne White Night Festival

This signature Winter event runs into the night from 7pm to 7am, and showcases free and ticketed light display, street performance, adventure-themed and fashion experiences. The event offers a spectacle of the city’s unmatched music and cultural offerings, shining a light on the brimming talent of the Victorian capital.

Key dates: TBC, Late August, 2019

Sydney Christmas Festival

Christmas means spending time with loved ones. On this magical day, Sydney exhibits their best Christmas decorations, lighting up the city and surrounding suburbs. Holiday-goers can also enjoy Christmas food and drink market, local pop-up designer markets, and carols in Sydney’s renowned Town Hall.

Key dates: 24th November – 26th December 2019 (TBC) @ Town Hall

Melbourne Christmas Festival

The magic of Christmas is celebrated with festive dining and drinks, indulgent seasonal treats, and entertainment throughout the day. Free festive and Christmas-curated events are also on offer to the public throughout the Christmas period.