Tourism Research Australia recently published a study of Chinese "Free and Independent Travelers" (FITs) and the opportunity they pose to regional areas.
For perspective, China is Australia's largest inbound International tourism partner, with Chinese tourists' expenditure forecast to grow 10.6% per annum over the next ten years to $26.2 billion in our country.
An opportunity indeed, particularly to small rural towns who are doing it tough financially.
Sadly International tourism is relatively low in many regional Victorian areas and declining.
So how do we attract this life saving bouy to our regions?
Let's look at what the Chinese want.
A new report published by Kantar Group; Chinese Travelers are Changing, shows while safety is a must have, nature has fast become the driver of destination choice. "Nature and natural wonders are the most mentioned factors in destination choice".
"A quarter of urban Chinese tourists are looking for a holiday that is intimate, unpretentious, probably involving nature, which will leave them feeling replenished".
It was the nature loving Chinese who discovered Lake Tyrrell, which now sees up to 1000 visitors a day in peak times. Meanwhile other stunning wetland habitats across Victoria - each offering something unique - remain largely undiscovered.
By providing a safe environment with the invitation to our stunning natural assets across Victoria, other small towns could benefit from welcome stop overs by these travelers.
There's a better way for our waterways.
Picture; Lake Tyrrell? No, Lake Lyndger - one of the sleeping giants of nature based tourism.