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Workshop to help businesses get China-ready

News Article Date: 
Monday, 15 August 2016

The Warrnambool City Council is hosting a workshop on August 23 to give tourism operators and local businesses the tools to better cater for international tourists, especially those from the rapidly growing Chinese market.

This free event is part of the Great South Coast Small Business Festival.

China is forecast to overtake New Zealand as Australia’s largest international market by 2017-18, according to the latest research from Tourism Research Australia.

Looking further ahead, analysis for Victoria indicates that China is estimated to generate 53 per cent of Victoria’s total international expenditure in the year 2024-25.

Nick Henderson from Asialink Business, an affiliate of The University of Melbourne, will outline how to be the preferred choice for international customers and how to promote goods and services effectively.

Mr Henderson said that regional Victoria is just seeing the start of the significant Chinese tourism opportunity. 

“It’s going to be much larger and play an integral role in tourism ecosystems in the region,” he said.

“I think if we look at the natural attributes of Warrnambool and the surrounding region, there are a lot of elements that are very attractive and appealing to Chinese tourists.

“As the nature of Chinese tourists is evolving from purely travel group arrangements to more independent travel by more informed tourists, I think that areas like Warrnambool will see a higher proportion of tourists.”

Mr Henderson pointed to social media and word of mouth as major influences in Chinese visitors deciding on a travel destination.

“The more positive experiences that Chinese tourists have at tourism sites and businesses in the Warrnambool region, the larger word of mouth effect that will have, hopefully driving more tourism visitation,” he said.

“The workshop will explain some of the mindsets and drivers of Chinese tourists, what sort of things they like and expect and then give some insight as to some simple ways that businesses can adapt their offering to make sure that the experience for Chinese tourists is as good as possible.”

Warrnambool City Council Manager Economic Development and Investment Shaun Miller said the workshop will help to build a level of Chinese tourism readiness.

“If you are an international tourist, Warrnambool has it all, with our coastal environment, world class nature and superior food and wine,” he said.

“Businesses who ensure international tourists have the best possible time in our city certainly stand to benefit from a sales perspective, while helping to boost the economic growth of Warrnambool,” he said.

“For example, a restaurant might have menus in other languages, or pictures of their meals to help someone who doesn’t speak English feel welcome and enjoy the great things our city has to offer.

“If you own or work at a business with exposure to international customers, this session will be of benefit to you.”

The workshop will be held at the Pavilion Café La Bella Function Room, 50 Viaduct Road, from 2pm until 4pm.

To register visit www.business.warrnambool.vic.gov.au or phone the Warrnambool City Council economic development team on 5559 4925

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