Leon Bignell MP
Minister for Tourism
South Australia will lead the way in helping Chinese visitors to Australia navigate their way through our hotels, shops, cellar doors and businesses, with the unveiling of a world first app.
Statistics released this week show Chinese visitors are the fastest growing, highest spending inbound market for South Australia, pumping $352 million a year in to the visitor economy.
In the twelve months to June 2017, Chinese visitation increased 56 per cent to 56,000 visits – overtaking the United States of America as South Australia’s second largest market for inbound travel.
The world first app, UWAI (游外 yóu wài - ‘travel abroad’) aims to make it easier for Chinese visitors to engage with locals, do business and even order a meal.
UWAI is being piloted in South Australia where an estimated 850 businesses – ranging from wineries to restaurants and tourism experiences - are registered on the mobile platform, with more expected in coming weeks.
UWAI is supported and funded by the State Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission.
Founded by entrepreneurs Simon Henry and Andrew Taylor, the company UWAI has set up its operations in South Australia and plans to take the product to other Australian states in the future.
The previous start-up of Simon Henry and Andrew Taylor, a Chinese translation property app called JUWAI, was awarded “the most influential foreign owned website in China” for 2014 and 2015.
UWAI can be downloaded free from both Apple and Android stores.
Quotes attributable to Tourism Minister Leon Bignell
The South Australian Government is always looking for innovative ways to connect South Australian businesses with China and positon Adelaide as Australia’s China friendly city.
UWAI will be a game-changer for South Australian businesses, allowing them to better communicate with Chinese visitors and enhance our appeal as a destination.
Successful engagement with the Chinese market is crucial for the South Australia economy – they are an integral part of our $6.3 billion visitor economy in addition to being one of our largest trading partners.
The State Government has invested an extra $70 million in tourism funding to market South Australia nationally and internationally and attract major events and conferences.
Taking advantage of smartphone trends and social networks gives us an opportunity to strengthen our tourism relationships with China and help grow South Australia’s economy and jobs.
Quotes attributable to UWAI founder Simon Henry
We are incredibly excited to have the global launch in South Australia, and have received outstanding welcome and support from the South Australian Government, the South Australian Tourism Commission, the business community, and Chinese community.
As Australians who have been living in greater China for 10 years, and having had success within China, it is almost a completion of the journey to be launching another Chinese brand solving the
solutions of the world’s largest and most influential market, back home in Australia, here in Adelaide.
South Australia is hitting above its weight in recognition in China, thanks to Government and industry initiatives.
UWAI puts more Chinese visitors in contact with more local businesses. We cannot wait to get started.
We are already working on future UWAI product releases, and currently exploring wearable technology solutions, and in talks with a leading international robotics firm.