Kung Hei Fat Choi! Aussie businesses embrace Chinese New Year

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Aussie businesses embrace Chinese New Year

The Year of the Monkey upon us: the lanterns are out, lunar markets underway, and Chinese banquet halls are packed to the brim. It’s a time when Chinese culture is in the spotlight here in Australia – and when Chinese consumers are hot on the radars of local businesses.

Last week, Bauer Media – in partnership with the City of Sydney and Westpac – released its fourth annual Harper’s Bazaar and inaugural Australian Gourmet Traveller Chinese New Year editions. Targeted specifically at affluent Chinese tourists arriving in Sydney over the festival period, the magazines showcase the very best in local dining, luxury fashion and premium Australian retail.

Which makes sense given the spending habits of tourists from China.

In 2015, the biggest year for Australian tourism since the Sydney Olympics back in 2000, it was reported Chinese visitors splash an estimated $19 million per day (that’s a whopping $7 billion within the space of a year). Whether it be on accommodation, dining or retail, this spend is rocket fuel for the local tourism sector and general economy.

With the opportunities this new wave of tourism presents, it should come as no surprise Aussie businesses are wanting in on the action – many going the extra mile to create experiences and products that have strong Chinese appeal.

Sydney’s BridgeClimb – one of our most popular tourist attractions – has created a stage like no other for people to ring in the Year of the Monkey. Dubbed the ‘Karaoke Climb’, this Mandarin-led expedition gives climbers the chance to belt out their favourite Chinese and K-Pop tunes from the top of the bridge (amazing, I know!). To ensure the celebrations live long beyond the climb itself, singers will be gifted an eight-second video of their sky-high performance to share via their social channels.

Also in on the action is Nestle Australia, releasing a limited edition range of golden Kit Kat bars that tick all of the right boxes for consumers wanting to get their hands on something truly unique (and delicious). Proving these are no ordinary Kit Kats, the Chinese New Year bars contain Phoenix Oolong tea leaves sourced from China’s Guangdong Province and are covered with 24k gold leaf. Like BridgeClimb, Nestle has also been sure to highlight the number ‘eight’ – considered to be the luckiest number in Chinese culture. Only 88 of the gold chocolates were made; they went on sale at the Kit Kat Studio in Melbourne on January 28 at 8am with an RRP of (you guessed it) $88 each.

For brands wanting to leverage Chinese New Year, careful planning is needed. Along with tailoring goods and services to appeal to the specific tastes of Chinese consumers, an understanding of culture, customs and traditions ensures important details aren’t overlooked.

As Chinese visitor numbers continue to grow, so too will the number of opportunities local businesses have to connect with consumers. I’m excited to see how Aussie brands leverage Chinese New Year in the years to come.

If you’re in town and keen to celebrate the Year of the Monkey, see what the Sydney Chinese New Year festival (celebrating its 20th anniversary this year) has in store here.

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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