SA retailers urged to focus on Chinese tourists

28 December 2013

The State Government has urged retailers, hotels, wineries and other businesses in the tourism sector to make themselves more China focused.

Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said there was a simple step operators could take to remove a major barrier between Chinese visitors and our state's cash registers.

"Chinese tourism pumped $126 million into our state's economy this year and that figure could have been millions of dollars higher," Mr Bignell said.

"One of the easiest ways of allowing visitors to spend more is by welcoming the credit card used by most Chinese travelers.

"More than 700 million Chinese have 3.5 billion UnionPay International cards and it is their preferred method of payment.

"Businesses who are with National Australia Bank or Commonwealth Bank already have the facilities to accept UnionPay cards, but many business operators aren't aware."

A sticker will be launched in Rundle Mall today that business operators can display in their windows welcoming customers with the UnionPay International card.

“Those retailers who have access to Commonwealth or National Australia Bank EFTPOS terminals can display the sticker, which features the South Australian and UnionPay logos," Mr Bignell said.

"Customers are also advised in English and Chinese that the card is welcome in store.

“There are restrictions on the amount of cash Chinese visitors can bring into Australia, but transactions using the UnionPay card are converted directly into the Chinese currency and don’t get included in the traveler’s cash limit.

“So being able to use their UnionPay credit card delivers big benefits for the tourists – and our local retailers.

“The sticker will also help to make Chinese visitors feel welcome in our city, knowing that they can shop in those stores accepting the UnionPay card without any hassles.”

The Deputy Chair of the Rundle Mall Advisory Board, Eric Granger, said retailers accepting the UnionPay card will draw even more tourists into Rundle Mall.

“Rundle Mall is already the pre-eminent destination for visitors to the city, and so it’s vital the Mall remains vibrant,” he said.

“The Adelaide City Council has shown that it’s serious about improving the Mall and the city centre, which has given retailers and businesses the confidence to invest in city development.

“The Myer Centre and Myer department store have undergone major redevelopment, David Jones has announced it will soon follow, Rundle Place opened this year with Adelaide’s first Apple store, and world famous jeweler Tiffany & Co will open a boutique later next year.”

Minister Bignell says South Australia’s biggest opportunity for international tourism growth is with the Chinese holidaymaker market.

“We welcomed 27,000 Chinese visitors to South Australia this year, an increase of 47 per cent on the previous year,” he said.

"The average spend by Chinese visitors to South Australia is $4,683 which far exceeds tourists from any other country. For example USA is $1298 per visitor, and tourists from Europe spend an average $1226 while they are here in South Australia.

“Our next challenge is to encourage Chinese visitors to stay longer and spend more money here, and acceptance by local retailers of the UnionPay credit card will play a big role in doing that.”

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