One of the experts on the Chinese tourist market is offering advice in workshops in Glen Innes on Tuesday.
Andrea Plawutsky will share her thoughts at the Services Club at 2 pm and 5.30 pm. Admission is free.
She first stayed in China in 1988. She’s spent seven years working there and set up an office in China for an Australian travel company.
She said that the Chinese market was lucrative, growing and an opportunity for traders in Glen Innes – but it’s important to understand the expectation of visitors.
Many Chinese tourists are making a second trip to Australia. Many of them have already been to Europe and other parts of Asia so, she said, they are sophisticated and cosmopolitan. They have high standards.
They are already coming to Sydney and travelling up the coast so, she said, “one of the opportunities is to divert them inland”.
Some tips: keep menus in restaurants simple and clear. Chinese people set much store on “face” – on not feeling embarrassed – so complicated menus with obscure items might make them feel loathe to ask for explanations;
Emphasise local produce. Chinese tourists set great store on food being “clean and green” and that plays to the Australian and New England reputation. Let them know that the lamb comes from just down the road or that the wine is from a nearby, regional winery.
Take pride in Glen Innes. They will be interested, so explain where the name comes from on brochures, or what the Standing Stones signify.
And one big “Don’t” in her book: Don’t use Google Translate.
She cites this as a bad example of how it can go wrong from Mandarin to English. What started out as good Chinese became: “The bus to the hotel runs along the lake shore. Soon you will feel pleasure in passing water. You will know that you are getting near the hotel because you will go round the bend. The manager will await you in the entrance hall. He always tries to have intercourse with you”.