Sovereign Hill will play a central part in a new State Government push to attract more Chinese visitors to Victoria.
In Shanghai last week to launch Sovereign Hill’s China Business Strategy, Tourism Minister Louse Asher said the museum had been at the forefront of the Chinese market for decades.
“Sovereign Hill has long been a popular travel destination amongst Chinese visitors, and its profile is set to grow following the release of this business strategy,” she said.
The strategy was developed over five years, based on research conducted by the University of Ballarat.
Ms Asher described Sovereign Hill as an “industry leader” in developing the Chinese inbound market.
Sovereign Hill director of marketing Garry Burns said the outdoor museum attracted 70,000 Chinese visitors annually.
He said Sovereign Hill had made big inroads into China since 1990 and was now marketing itself to “second-tier” cities Chengdu and Chongqing, which have populations of 15 million and 28 million respectively.
“China is our most important international market,” Mr Burns said.
“We have four staff based in China (and) we see a great future in the Chinese market.”
Mr Burns said changes had already been made to further suit Chinese visitors, including placing Mandarin-speaking staff at Sovereign Hill’s various attractions, rather than having all Chinese visitors limited to guided tours.
Sovereign Hill is one of the Victoria companies participating in the Coalition Government’s Super Trade Mission to China.
The government plans to increase Chinese visitor expenditure at 11 per cent a year to 2020 - equivalent to more than $2 billion visitor expenditure, $18.2 billion in Gross State Product over 10 years and 41,700 jobs in Victoria.