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Australia is attracting a wealthier, more adventurous tourist from China

Getting on board: Tourists watch the action at Sydney Harbour. Chinese visitors spent a record $4.8 billion in Australia last year. Photo: Tamara DeanThe Chinese tourist is wealthier and more independent than ever before – and Australia’s most lucrative guest.
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Despite a 4 per cent fall in the number of Chinese visitors to Australia recorded in the latest International Visitor Survey, the amount each tourist spent rose 17 per cent.

Overall, overseas visitors forked out $28.9 billion during their time in Australia last year, a rise of 6 per cent and a record spend.

Tourists from China, the UK and the US were the biggest contributors and more than compensated for the double-digit annual falls in spending by holidaymakers from Japan and Korea.

Chinese visitors, now the most lucrative market for Australia, spent a record $4.8 billion in 2013, up 16 per cent despite new laws from October cracking down on cut-price shopping tours.

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said the average Chinese tourist was changing.

“The good news is that despite Chinese arrivals falling by 4 per cent during the [December] quarter, total spend is up 13 per cent, and average spend per visitor is up 17 per cent,” he said.

“We’re seeing a positive change in our visitor mix – away from group shopping tours towards a more independent, higher spending Chinese visitor, enjoying higher quality visitor experiences.

“Increases in independent travelling visitors means more Australian tourism businesses are getting to welcome Chinese, as they go farther and experience more of our country.”

Mr O’Sullivan said Tourism Australia planned to capitalise on the opportunity by focusing its marketing activities on the growing number of affluent and independently minded Chinese travellers.

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb compared tourism in Australia with mining and education as one of the country’s key economic strengths.

“It is also a sector that has the potential to experience even higher growth rates as we position the industry to capitalise on the emerging Asian economies,” Mr Robb said.

The tourism lobby is using the latest figures to reach out to government for more money for marketing the Australian experience abroad.

Ken Morrison, the head of industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF), said the strong numbers demonstrated the sector’s capacity to be a serious part of the economic development strategy for the country.

“With state and federal budgets to be handed down in the coming weeks, TTF is seeking an increased commitment from governments to support the visitor economy which performs so strongly for Australia,” he said.

“Tourism marketing and events authorities around Australia needs sufficient funding to continue its outstanding research and marketing programs that promote Australia to the world.”

With Jasper Lindell

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How to beat carry-on baggage restrictions: meet the Scottevest coat

Packing for a trip is hard enough without having to worry about exceeding on-flight baggage limits. Not to mention the additional fees some airlines charge for check-in luggage.
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Whether it’s to save on fare cost, to avoid airport baggage collection or just the need to have personal belongings close, air passengers nowadays are packing as much as they can into their carry-on bag.

But regardless of how much passengers can cram into their carry-on size bag, standard airline baggage policy states the bag still needs to fit under the seat in front or in an overhead locker.

Australian airlines typically allow one carry-on baggage of up to 7kg for a domestic economy flight with restrictions placed on baggage dimensions. The restrictions vary according to fare class and also if it is an international flight.

But what if there was a way you can carry more onto a flight without exceeding your carry-on baggage limit?

American travel clothing brand Scottevest has not only succeeded with a feminine trench coat with accent buttons, adjustable belt and stylish cut, but it has loaded the lightweight and water-resistant garment with 18 hidden pockets – a travellers’ delight.

That means you can put things like phones, travel documents, maps, guidebooks, paperbacks, water bottle and sunglasses into the coat and not worry about excess weight with carry-on baggage.

There is even a pocket big enough for an iPad in the no-bulge designed jacket. If you think the 18 pockets is good, wait until you see Scottevest’s newest item, its Quest vest with an astonishing 42 pockets.

There’s no outlet in Australia selling the products yet, but the garments are available at scottevest南京夜网 for US$150 (A$161.68) and the vest US$145 (A$156.29), plus shipping costs that can be calculated online.

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McLachlan appointment a boost for Giants

New era: Gillon McLachlan with Mike Fitzpatrick. Photo: Pat ScalaGillon McLachlan’s appointment as AFL chief executive and the almost certain contract extension at Greater Western Sydney for club boss David Matthews is a dream outcome for the competition’s youngest entity.
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Matthews’ decision not to challenge for Andrew Demetriou’s vacated post, and McLachlan’s appointment to the pre-eminent executive position in Australian sport, ensures for the foreseeable future a high-powered and deeply-rooted partnership strongly committed to the AFL’s drive into Sydney’s west.

McLachlan and Matthews are close friends and professional associates. They worked together on the AFL executive for 11 years.

“Personally I’ve become very good friends with him over a long period of time,” Matthews said.

“A lot of the people on the executive have had young families together and, in many ways, grown up together.

“Professionally, he’s had such a big hand in expansion and improved broadcast coverage in places like NSW. He’s attuned to what’s required up here, as was Andrew.

“He gets things done, he supports what we’re trying to achieve, so it’s a great appointment for the Giants.”

Matthews was an early contender to take over from Demetriou, but he decided not to apply. The former game development leader is contracted to the Giants until late 2015 and is expected to be given an extension.

“I got asked by the search firm to have a conversation about the role, what it entailed and where I sat with things,” he said.

“I had that discussion because I think, in this industry, it’s obviously useful to get across those sort of matters and have a look.

“But I’m really enjoying the Giants. It wouldn’t be the right timing for me or the club. I’ve got a lot of unfinished business that I want to work on with the club. I was happy enough to have a conversation but it didn’t go anywhere after that.”

Matthews said expansion was the “No.1 priority” for the AFL Commission and executive.

“Within that, there’s no doubt [McLachlan] is completely across the challenges and opportunities that Sydney presents,” he said.

“From our point of view, to have someone in the chair who succeeds Andrew and has the same corporate memory and vision as Andrew is really important to us.

“We’ve always worked very well together, Gillon and I. I can only see our working relationship growing through his appointment and the future I have at the Giants.”

McLachlan, the AFL’s former broadcasting and commercial operations manager, has long been at the forefront of the Sydney push.

In an interview in 2008, he said the governing body would stop at nothing to ensure the success of a second Sydney club.

“We’ve invested heavily in Sydney, particularly in the past three or four years,” he said. “The next step is to get a team out there. We’ll do this in a way that will be successful … We’ll do whatever is required. We’ll spend whatever it takes to ensure we have a presence out there.”

Before training on Wednesday, GWS head coach Leon Cameron said he had come to know McLachlan well over the past 18 months and felt confident in his appointment.

“He’s a big fan of our football club … he understands the challenges we face up here in terms of growing the game, membership, growing support, starting with a young side and becoming competitive,” Cameron said.

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Tyrone Phillips ready to become his own pin-up

Ultimate League: It’s not too late to sign up for our Fantasy NRL game 
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Tyrone Phillips has a poster of Adam Reynolds in his room.

There is every chance the South Sydney halfback, one of nine people living with Phillips in the same house, hung it there.

“I can’t go a day without seeing his face,” Phillips said. “I’ve got a poster of him above my bed I see every time I go to sleep.

“He’s been seeing my cousin for about four years now. He decided to move in upstairs, and it’s gone from there. They squeezed in with my family.”

Their Chifley home is overflowing. There are Reynolds, his partner and their two children. Then there’s Phillips’ nan and pop and his two cousins. Hopefully they will all be there to see the former Rabbitoh pull on a blue jersey at Sportingbet Stadium when NSW host the Maroons in an under-20s (NYC) State of Origin encounter on Saturday.

“It’s a pathway to success and hopefully one day put on the big jersey,” he said.

Phillips is yet to play an NRL game but already has been in the headlines. Last November, as he was making the transition from Redfern to new club Canterbury, he and former Souths teammate Dylan Waker were charged with affray following a street brawl in Beverley Hills. The matter is still before the courts.

“I was just minding my own business when it all broke out,” Phillips said. “I couldn’t do much about it, I helped my best mate, like any man would, to try to get him out of that situation. I was caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Obviously being a sports player and football player it went the wrong way. I’ve just got to learn with it, move forward and let the court decide what’s right and wrong. The Dogs were really good about it. I got in trouble for a day or so, I had to go home and think about what I’d done and what I need to do to improve.”

The move to Bulldogs is also a chance for Phillips to press for the No.1 jersey that belonged to Ben Barba before his move north. The back-line utility has a point to prove after his own move after leaving Souths. “It was my decision, I had one more year on my contract but I decided to leave at the end of the day,” he said.

“When Madge [Souths coach Michael Maguire] found out … he said ‘I want you to prove me wrong and show me the player you truly are.’ You could say I wasn’t happy at Souths. I wasn’t in the best form and was sliding a bit downhill. The opportunity came and I decided to take it.

“Des [Hasler] showed me around and said ‘I want you to be a part of my culture and be on board’. I thought why not?”

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Ryan Hoffman edges closer to cap record in City-Country clash for State of Origin

Ryan Hoffman will join City coach Brad Fittler and Blues coach Laurie Daley on one game shy of equalling the record for the most number of appearances in the annual City-Country clash on Sunday.
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The Melbourne Storm back-rower will play his seventh game for City when he leads the side in Dubbo as the oldest player on the field.

He will join Braith Anasta, Glenn Lazarus, Fittler and Daley just one game behind Andrew Ettingshausen (City), Steve Menzies (City) and Paul Sironen (City), who hold the record of eight for most City-Country appearances.

“I first played in 2006 and the only ones I have missed out on were in 2008 because I was in the Australian team and 2011 when I was playing overseas,” Hoffman said.

“You get these funny little records and milestones throughout your career. This would be great. Hopefully I’m still playing well and in this side. It’s good to always be thought of in these games. I always have seen it as an Origin trial and it’s good to put your name forward for NSW. I see it as a way to boost my chances for Origin and represent NSW.

“I look at it as one of those things that if you don’t play, you don’t give yourself every opportunity. That’s me personally. The camps are such an enjoyable time and the coaches I’ve had over the years and the players I’ve played with, I’ve always enjoyed it. Why wouldn’t I play?”

There has been plenty of criticism of the concept in recent years, which intensified after a poor crowd attended last year’s match in Coffs Harbour.

The legitimacy of the match as an Origin trial has also been questioned with several players opting to pull out of the game due to injury.

Hoffman, who played in all three Origin matches for the Blues last year, said he did not hold it against players who pulled out.

“People make their own personal choices and I’m not going to begrudge someone for that,” Hoffman said.

“Everyone has got their reasons why they can’t play or why they are not playing. All I have control over or worry about is myself, and I’ve always wanted to play.

“I certainly think it didn’t hurt playing well last year in the game. As I say, the more opportunity you get to show what you can do and your desire to be involved in these games, can’t hurt.”

MOST CITY-COUNTRY APPEARANCES

Andrew Ettingshausen 8 (City)

Steve Menzies 8 (City)

Paul Sironen 8 (City)

Braith Anasta 7 (City)

Laurie Daley 7 (City)

Brad Fittler 7 (City)

Glenn Lazarus 7 (City)

Ryan Hoffman 6 (City)

Ben Creagh 6 (Country)

Robbie Farah 6 (City)

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The men in white are all right by me

“The referee is going to be the most important person in the ring tonight besides the fighters.” George Foreman
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About an hour before every game of AFL footy, the three field umpires of the day wander into the change rooms of both teams and shake every player’s hand. It’s a quaint tradition in a place and time where quaint traditions are on the decline.

Loyal readers will understand my fondness of such a ritual (I do have a thing about shaking hands), but I sometimes wonder if we have failed to build on that relationship between players and umpires in the modern era. I often think back to an almost mythical football time where both teams and umpires might gather in a pub or social club after the final siren to talk about the day’s play over a glass or two. But as my vinyl record collection suggests, I do tend to live in the past.

Footy umpires get a hard time, too hard for the most part. I sympathise with them because I used to be one.

My wife scoffs when I tell people my very first job was as a field umpire in the Warragul and District Junior Football League. “You’ve never worked!” she says. She might have a point.

My time with the whistle was only brief – one season – and I probably would have done it for free. I got paid though – $12.50 a game – and most weekends I would umpire two games, the under-12s and the under-14s. Twenty-five dollars a week was a lot of money to me back in 1997; a bag of mixed lollies was my biggest outgoing.

This week marks the 2014 community umpiring round in the AFL, and as a former member of the umpiring workforce, I thought I could share a few memories of my time out in the middle in the all-white uniform.

Winters in the Warragul area can be bitterly cold and I remember that 1997 season being a brutal one. Because the under-12s started at 8.45am, I’d have to drag my poor old dad out of bed pretty early to make it out to Buln Buln, Hallora, Neerim South or wherever I’d been sent to that week. Dad never seemed to mind; he’s a kind and patient man, my father.

One of my school mates, Brad Nott, was my co-umpire and we’d go into each team’s rooms before the game to meet the coaches and the players and pretend to be adults.

I found myself mimicking what I remember our own junior football umpires doing before games. The best example of this would be when we would ask the young players to lift their boots for us to run our hands over the studs. Looking for what I was never quite sure, but I’d seen umpiring stalwarts Mick Rooney and Norm Dorling do it for years.

It wouldn’t have mattered if a kid had strapped a razor blade to his boot, because my hands were that numb from the cold I couldn’t feel a thing. And besides, most of the kids were about eight years old and more intent on throwing mud at each other than they were about hurting the opposition. Still, every week, we’d line these kids up with military precision and scrape their boots with blue, icy hands.

Umpiring under-12s was more like herding sheep than it was about keeping an eye on taggers and paying free kicks for holding jumpers behind the play. I wish I had a dollar for every time I yelled, “Play on! Knock it out! Keep it moving!” I’d have made a lot more than $25.

I do look back on those mornings fondly and it did give me a different look at the game that was about to consume my life. Umpiring any game is a tough gig, but I think umpiring a game of AFL football would just about be the toughest.

I took the first tentative steps of my own AFL career as a player at the Western Bulldogs’ affiliate Werribee Tigers in 2000. During one of those early games I watched on as my teammate Andrew Wills took up the debate with our field umpire, and I decided to join in.

The umpire turned to me sharply and said, “Rob, I’ll listen to Andrew because he’s played 100 games of league footy. You haven’t played any. Stay out of it!” It was a great lesson about respect that I never forgot.

Some 15 years later, the Dogs were playing the plucky newcomers of the competition, GWS,  in Canberra. The Giants’ resident pest Jacob Townsend was trying to ruffle my feathers with a miscellaneous repertoire of scallywag tactics when the umpire of the day came over and told the youngster to “show some respect, he’s a veteran of the game”. This only served to increase Townsend’s output, but I appreciated the thought from the ump nonetheless. Footy has a funny way of coming full circle.

For anyone going to the footy this week, at any level, raise a glass to the umps. Footy needs them.

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Ayrton Senna’s legacy is a fatality-free F1

Two decades after his death shocked motor racing out of its complacency, Ayrton Senna’s legacy is the longest fatality-free period in formula one history.
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Following Senna’s lethal crash early in the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1, 1994, F1 authorities legislated sweeping changes to make the cars and circuits safer. The urgent action was recognition that the previous 11 years with no driver being killed in an F1 race – and eight years since a fatality in testing – had been more good luck than good management.

Although the safety of the cars and tracks had improved in the 1980s following the campaign in the ’70s to end the almost ritual slaughter of drivers every year, F1 was still unnecessarily dangerous early in the last decade of the 20th century. Drivers were vulnerable in their low-line cars and the tracks still contained too many hazards.

Senna was the last driver to die in an F1 race and the changes forced on the sport by his tragic demise have saved many lives since.

Progressively more stringent crash-testing procedures, constantly improved protection of the drivers in their safety-cell cockpits and the wholesale modification of the perilous parts of the circuits transformed the survivability of big crashes.

As a direct result of the safety reforms that followed Senna’s death, F1 has never gone so long without fatalities or serious injuries.

While his death was not entirely in vain, it is still raw in the memories of the millions worldwide, who witnessed it live on television – the first time a globally recognised figure was killed before an audience’s eyes.

Senna, then 34, was already a cult hero when he was taken so unexpectedly in an accident that had freak consequences. Although what caused his Williams car to spear off at the fast left-hand Tamburello corner at the Imola circuit on the seventh lap of the restarted San Marino GP has never been determined, his mortal injury was an unusual outcome.

When his car slammed into the concrete barrier beyond the corner, a right front suspension arm folded back and penetrated his helmet, piercing his brain.

Had the impact been at a slightly different angle, Senna would have climbed out, dusted himself off and expressed his disgust. Instead, F1’s darkest weekend ever claimed another life, following the death in qualifying the day before of well-liked Austrian F1 rookie Roland Ratzenberger, who was Australian David Brabham’s teammate in the struggling Simtek team.

Senna, who had switched from McLaren – with which he had won three world titles – to Williams, had failed to finish the first two races with his new team and was desperate to turn the tide at Imola. Williams was not the powerhouse he expected, having dominated in the previous two years, and he was pushing the team to overcome the shortcomings of his car.

So he was already anxious, and became increasingly concerned and distracted following his fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello’s narrow escape from a huge crash in practice on the Friday and then Ratzenberger’s death in qualifying on the Saturday.

Senna was not in a great frame of mind and there were suggestions at the time that he overcame a premonition of doom to start the race, for which he had won pole position from emerging upstart Michael Schumacher.

Such a feeling of foreboding would have been consistent with his deep spirituality. Although a ruthless racer, he was an emotional, deeply thoughtful, caring person out of the car.

Senna, whose fame in his native Brazil rivals soccer icon Pele, became more famous and revered in death, and his legend has grown to mythical proportions.

Debate rages among F1 aficionados as to whether he is F1’s greatest driver of all time and, for many, his sheer passion gives him the edge over fellow all-time greats Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark and Schumacher.

Two leading figures in V8 Supercars have no doubts that Senna was the standout of F1’s golden era of the late 1980s and early ’90s. Holden Racing Team managing director Adrian Burgess was a mechanic who worked on Senna’s cars at McLaren, and Tekno Autosport’s team principal Steve Hallam was his race engineer at Lotus in the mid-80s and also worked with him at McLaren.

”He was an incredibly special guy, very warm,” Burgess recalled. ”He’s looked on now as a legend, but even then you knew you were working with an all-time great. You knew he’d go down in history as one of the best ever.”

Added Hallam: ”He was the best of his generation, simple as that. My principal memory of him outside of being the finest driver of his generation was that he was just a good human being. And I mean good in the very best sense of the word. He was a good person, very human, and he showed a lot of emotion.”

Burgess was also close to Ratzenberger, making Thursday’s commemoration and celebration of the 20th anniversary of Senna’s death – and the tragic events of that fateful weekend – even more poignant.

And Hallam has a tangible reminder of his privileged time working with Senna, who gave him one of his helmets when he left McLaren at the end of 1993. ”It’s a possession that I treasure immeasurably,” Hallam said.

Senna was always popular in Australia, with which he has an historical bond, having scored his final F1 victory in the 1993 Adelaide GP. It was also his last appearance on a podium alongside his former arch-rival turned friend-at-the-end Alain Prost, with whom he fought F1’s most bitter feud in 1989 when they were warring teammates at McLaren.

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John Tomic’s ban set to expire

At the stroke of midnight on Saturday, when the 12-month ban for assaulting his son’s hitting partner expires, tennis father John Tomic will be free to apply for tournament accreditation once more. Which, for the Tomics, means a double comeback, of sorts.
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As Bernard, ranked 77th, prepares to play qualifying events in Madrid and then next week in Rome, just over three months after the dual hip surgery that followed his first-round retirement against Rafel Nadal at the Australian Open, sources have confirmed there will be no move to extend his father’s suspension past May 4.

John Tomic is not expected in Madrid, the scene of the infamous headbutting incident with Frenchman Thomas Drouet outside the tournament hotel that resulted in a suspended eight-month prison term, but could theoretically apply for a coach or player guest credential from Sunday.

Neither Tomic snr nor management company IMG replied to Fairfax Media’s inquiries.

The news of  John Tomic’s reinstatement follows a recent ATP statement that the Queenslander’s status was under review, amid speculation that his ban from attending tour events may be stretched past its original one-year term.

With the four grand slams individually following the ATP’s lead, Tomic was permitted to enter as a paying spectator at only two tournaments during his suspension: Queen’s Club and Sydney.

A Spanish judge ignored a plea of self-defence to find Tomic guilty of bodily harm last September, but he escaped jail time because the sentence was less than two years in duration and he had no previous convictions in Spain. Drouet was left in a neck brace with a broken nose after the confrontation in Paseo de la Castellana on May 4.

There has been a suggestion that Tomic is preparing to take on a reduced coaching role on his return, having appointed Croatian Velimir Zovko as co-coach before Christmas. But that has been greeted with scepticism, with one insider commenting: ‘‘I would take that with a grain of salt. I imagine that John will be very much in the front or second row again once he’s allowed to be.’’

Bernard Tomic, meanwhile, has been quietly continuing his rehabilitation and preparation in Florida and then his European base in Monte Carlo, the 21-year-old having been urged not to return – for a second time – before he is ready.

Tomic was beaten in just 28 minutes by Jarkko Nieminen at the Sony Open in Miami in March at his only appearance since January, and the shortest completed ATP match on record.

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Renault can’t commit to Twingo

Renault will not offer its alternative to the tiny Smart car locally unless it arrives at the right price.Speaking at the launch of the new Clio GT, Renault’s Australian boss Justin Hocevar says costs will determine whether the Twingo city car comes to Australia.“We’re absolutely interested in it, we think it’s a fantastic car and we would love to have it here in the market,” he says.“But the challenge for us, as we’ve always said, is that we don’t want to bring cars to market unless we can price them correctly in their segment.“We’d love to get it but not until we can get a business case that is rock-solid, where the vehicle can sit naturally within our existing product portfolio at the right price.”The current Renault Twingo is a compact front-wheel-drive hatch not offered in Australia. The next-generation model has been developed as part of a platform sharing arrangement with the next rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive Smart ForTwo.Both cars have reportedly been engineered for electric drivelines, adding extra appeal..Cut-throat competition in city cars have driven profit margins to less than $100.Volkswagen recently stopped importing its smallest car, the Up hatchback, which was originally priced from $13,990 plus on-road costs.Hocevar says a city car such as the Twingo would have to sit well below the current entry-level Clio, which is priced from $16,790 plus on-road costs.“There is no point fighting an uphill battle in what is already a highly competitive segment if you can’t be priced right,” he says.“Everything else is between $13,000 and $15,000 drive away.”Renault’s Australian boss also says the company is keen to offer an upcoming hot hatch capable of setting a Nurburgring lap record for its class, along with exclusive Renault Alpine cars in the works.“The Alpine project is something well on track, still something we are committed to,” he says.“We keep putting our hand up and expressing our keenest interest.”
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How to turn an app into a business

Come up with an idea for an app, develop it, put it on the App Store at 99c a pop – and wait for the millions to roll in.

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If turning an idea for an app into a successful business were this easy we’d all be doing it.

“A lot of the time the problem isn’t actually making the app, it’s actually building a sustainable business model and something that can scale,” says Mark McDonald, one of the founders of app developer and investor Appster. “A lot of people think that building an app is just this thing you do and suddenly it makes money on the app store.”

Along with his business partner Josiah Humphrey, McDonald has developed more than 80 apps, including one for radio personalities Hamish & Andy and one called BlueDot that allows motorists to pay tolls with their mobile phones instead of using an e-tag.

“It’s really about building a company as opposed to just making an app,” McDonald says.

“The apps that are successful are those that are run like a start-up – they actually have people working full-time driving them, they have a marketing plan, they have a business development plan and they’re constantly seeking investment.”

With over a million apps available around the work, the sector is very competitive, so new apps need a professional approach if they’re going to get traction and build a user base.

For those who get it right the rewards can be significant, as it is one of Australia’s most profitable industries. Business forecaster IBISWorld says 45 per cent of the revenue earned by app makers translates directly to profit.

App development in Australia has grown from almost nothing five years ago to an industry forecast to earn $176 million in profit from revenues of a little under $400 million, IBISWorld says.

It expects strong growth to continue over the next five years, driven by increased smartphone take-up and more online shopping.

Australia has traditionally lagged countries such as the US in terms of the “ecosystem” for developing apps and web businesses, in entrepreneurial spirit and the willingness of investors to put money into new and unproven ideas.

But Benjamin Chong, a founder of Right Click Capital, which invests in early-stage internet businesses, says Australia is catching up. “There are more people who I’ve come into contact with who are interested in at least exploring the possibility of joining a start-up and there are more programs around that can help support founders and I’m also seeing people who are prepared to invest in this,” he says.

Chong says that when investors consider apps, they want to see a business that has the potential to be global, not one that’s tied to a particular geography.

Matthew Macfarlane, investment director at the $40 million Yuuwa Capital venture capital firm, says investors want to see an app that will generate ongoing revenue, not just make one-off 99c sales.

“Unless there’s in-app purchases or some kind of subscription component in the app, it’s very challenging to excite investors like venture capital firms,” he says. “As long as you’ve game play or some kind of value proposition that continues to makes customer continue to engage and pay then it’s all fine.”

Macfarlane says almost all apps already have competitors when they launch, so app makers need to test the market before launch to ensure their product is sufficiently differentiated. “It doesn’t have to be a unique idea, but it has to be extremely well executed,” he says.

App businesses need to build an “addictive” app that will keep customers spending, and Appster’s Mark McDonald says this is more science than art. Half of apps are actually abandoned after the first use, denying the owner of any chance of future revenue, says McDonald.

Part of this is trying to build a “habit pattern” into the product, using scientifically tested psychological ploys like needs, hooks, triggers and rewards.

“For instance, Facebook targets people who want social interaction, so they have a hook, but they also have a trigger action – something with which they can grab attention – like a notification or a photo’s been commented on,” says McDonald. “Then they have some sort of reward. In the case of Facebook it’s a social reward – the validation that someone’s liked your post.”

Another key to success is to ensure that the app has a feature so that users can tell others about the application and invite them to use it, so that the users themselves effectively take on much of the marketing effort, says McDonald.

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