“Get geared up to attract Chinese tourists”
An expert in the Chinese market is to hold workshops in the town to explain just how much money there is to be earned – and how to get it.
On the best estimate, 1.27 million Chinese tourists visited Australia in the year to June, half of them to New South Wales, invariably Sydney.
But there are signs that Chinese travellers are starting to look for routes off the beaten track, and the Glen Innes Severn Tourist Association is keen that their new route should lead here.
Where Chinese tourists used to go round in supervised bus loads, now they are increasingly driving their own hired vehicles.
On October 10, two workshops will be held – one in the afternoon and one in the early evening – at which an expert on the Chinese and Australian markets will advise. Andrea Plawutsky will hold an additional session on November 2. All the workshops, at the Services Club, will be aimed at “capturing the Chinese self-drive market”.
Peter Lisberg of the Glen Innes Severn Tourism Association said that fifty per cent of Chinese tourists have been to Australia before so they are now looking to branch out.
If they decided to go to Brisbane from Sydney, for example, the aim would be to persuade them to take a diversion over a long weekend and spend some money in Glen.
Glen Innes has just had a boost by being recommended in an influential travel guide in a big national newspaper. News.com names the town as one of “the best Aussie spots for an ‘international’ escape’” by which it means a place in Australia with an international flavour and well worth visiting to get a sense of being abroad – the exotic on your doorstep, if you like..
The writer says: “The Australian Standing Stones collection is a cultural icon. Keen photographers take note: the stones are at their eerie best on a mist-cloaked morning.” It calls the Australian Celtic Festival “a wide assortment of exciting themed events.”
This kind of reference is important because the experience in Asia and Europe is that Chinese tourists visit places mentioned in guides.
The Glen tourist association says: “Chinese travellers have uniquely Chinese characteristics, and are used to different marketing, booking and payment platforms”.
It believes the way to Chinese spending is to understand these differences.
Top cultural tip to restaurateurs: Chinese tourists expect warm water with their meal.
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