Welcoming Chinese

CHINA EXPERTS: Whitsunday tourism operators made the most of the China workshops.
CHINA EXPERTS: Whitsunday tourism operators made the most of the China workshops.

WHITSUNDAY tourism operators and businesses are learning how to engage the China market through a series of workshops hosted by Travconsult general manager Lily Choi-Lee and principal Trevor Lee.

The workshops, organised by Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL) focus on how local businesses can interact with and attract the Chinese market, with the help of cultural and language education.

"It's about engaging the China market - being able to provide the best customer service to our Chinese visitors and learning about their behaviours, wants and needs," Ms Choi-Lee said.

"China is one of our fastest growing tourism markets, with double digit growth every year. It's very important for operators to understand our Chinese visitors and provide the service expected."

Sam Collins, of Air Whitsunday, has attended two of the workshops held this week, and will be attending the final workshop today.

Ms Collins, who has been with Air Whitsunday for four and a half years, said the skills she learnt at these workshops would help her connect better with Chinese visitors.

"We have a lot of Chinese visitors come through Air Whitsunday, so I wanted to learn more about them and their culture, history and mannerisms," she said.

"We've also been learning some Chinese phrases and greetings to make them feel welcome.

"And yesterday's workshop was all about market intelligence - understanding the ever expanding Chinese tourism market."

Ms Choi-Lee said the workshops also taught locals about Chinese travel aspirations and how to be approachable.

"From our point of view, China is the fastest growing market in the Australian, Queensland and Whitsunday regions. They spend $7.7 billion in Australia annually, so they're extremely important for the economy," she said.

"When they come to places like the Whitsundays it's magical for them.

"It's so different to their own country - it's why they come."

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