China's middle class spurring The Australian Open attendance
Viewership in China saw more than 59 million people tune in to watch the Australian Open in 2017, an increase of 84% from 2016.
As claimed by Tennis Australia, China is a country that boasts 330 million tennis fans, two-thirds of which are Australian Open fans. Eleven percent of the population (some 150 million people) participate in tennis, making it the country’s sixth most-popular sport. Clearly, the market is there for the Australia Open — the only major grand slam held in the Asia-Pacific.
Nowadays, tennis tourism from the mainland has made things easier, with tourism channels, such as Ctrip, teaming up with tournament organizers to allow fans to book Australian Open tickets directly online and in their own language. Such channels have helped bolster the number of tourists that visit Australia in the months of January and February for sporting purposes to 36%.
China’s appreciation of the tournament court side is complimented by a strong television viewership on the mainland. Viewership in China saw more than 59 million people tune in to watch the Australian Open in 2017, an increase of 84% from 2016. With that, China overtook Japan to become the number one Asia-Pacific territory by hours viewed.
These numbers are further evidence of China’s burgeoning middle class, who have taken an a shining to sports tourism. While some, such as the Australian Open, have done a good job of capitalizing on this emerging market, others have yet to come to the fore.
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