Get ready for Chinese guests or miss the opportunity, tourism chief warns


Get ready for Chinese guests or miss the opportunity, tourism chief warns

Tourism Australia boss Andrew McEvoy has praised hospitality businesses including Accor and the Burswood Entertainment Complext for their initiatives in being "China Ready".

McEvoy listed the two along with a series of other Australian businesses the potential opportunities that Chinese tourism to Australia presents now and in the future.

He cautioned that increasing numbers of visitors from China is "neither inevitable nor guaranteed"  and hinges on Australia being able to deliver the kinds of experiences Chinese tourists expected.

He said that reaping the benefits of the 'Asian Century' requires more than just additional resources and good marketing campaigns.

"We know from our research that our global campaign resonates extremely well in China but, while this it great, its only part of the equation," he said.

"You can build all the demand you want through compelling ads, but if the actual experience fails to deliver on the promise, you end up doing more harm than good.

McEvoy sais that being 'China ready' was critical if the industry is to fully leverage Australia's destination appeal amongst China's new urban elite.

"The fact that 542,000 Chinese travellers visited our country last year is fantastic, but certainly no reason to feel the job is done. If we're not fully prepared, the Asian Centurywill pass us by.

"The great news is that we're starting to see the industry really embrace this opportunity by adapting their business to meet the needs of Chinese visitors."

He said Accor's strategy to better cater for Chinese guests included adding more Chinese dishes to menus, having Chinese newspapers, television channels, electrical adaptors and welcome kits in Mandarin, and also training  Accor staff in cultural differences, enabling them to better serve Chinese people.

At the Burswood Entertainment Complex, Perth, Western Australia 90 per cent of Burswood's International Operations team now speaks Mandarin and all staff are trained through 'China Ready' workshops.

Burswood is also working with China Southern Airlines to boost awareness and China visits.

He also praised the Jacob's Creek Visitor Centre in the Barossa Valley for it moves including employing Mandarin speaking staff and providing Chinese cultural awareness training for all employees. Materials such as brochures, tasting notes and menus are also available in Simplified Chinese.


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