A Griffith Business School initiative will ensure Gold Coast tourism businesses gain valuable insights into attracting and servicing the needs of Chinese visitors to the City.
The China Tourism 101, half-day workshop looks at current and future prospects out of the region, the implications of newly established Chinese tourism law, social media trends, plus how to increase Chinese visitor satisfaction.
The practical afternoon session is a collaborative project managed by the Tourism Confucius Institute in partnership with the Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT) and will be held on the Gold Coast campus, Tuesday, 26 August from 2pm.
Recently appointed GIFT academic, former Tourism and Events Queensland Research and Planning Manager, Professor Noel Scott will oversee proceedings which will include presentations on social media, service requirements and basic Chinese language.
“As the Gold Coast’s strongest international source market, attracting and servicing of Chinese visitors into the Gold Coast should be a priority, particularly for those businesses within the all-important hospitality and tourism sectors,” confirmed Professor Scott.
“Presenting at the China Tourism 101 workshop we also have Bernie Schulz who has an astounding practical knowledge of aviation, hotel management and destination marketing operations throughout the Asia Pacific.
“Dr. Vicki Wang will highlight major consumer trends that have presented themselves through her ongoing research with Intelligence Tourism Pty Ltd, while Dr. Peiyi Ding and colleagues from the Tourism Confucius Institute and GIFT will be on hand to ensure a beneficial workshop event for all.”
The importance of gaining an understanding and proficiency of the Chinese language is also seen as pivotal to the China Tourism 101 program.
How to market to China
During a recent industry breakfast on the Gold Coast, Adjunct Professor of GIFT, Associate Professor Xiang (Robert) Li of the University of South Carolina highlighted important issues and trends affecting destination marketing.
“With an emerging wave of free, independent traveller represented by a younger, more carefree, impulse-purchasing segment out of China, it’s important for destinations like the Gold Coast to engage early for long term support,” confirmed Assoc. Prof. Li.
And this is a view shared by Gold Coast Tourism, with their associated marketing programs already paying dividends.
“The Chinese market is of vital importance to the longer-term growth and sustainability of the tourism industry here on the Gold Coast,” confirmed GCT Director International, Gordon Price.
“The attractiveness of the Chinese market is well recognised by all the leading tourism destinations of the world and it is imperative that the Gold Coast’s marketing and subsequent service delivery continues to be refined and improved to cater for the ever-changing needs of the Chinese market.”
A major part of that marketing mix is the use of social media channels to attract these growth traveller markets out of China, with the value of Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and Wechat to be examined during the workshop.
China Tourism 101 will serve as the perfect pre-cursor to the instigation of the first ever East West Dialogue on Tourism and the Chinese Dream which will be staged by Griffith University on 13-15 November.
Strategically, the inaugural East-West Dialogue is a perfect fit for the South East Queensland region, timed to coincide with the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane.
“The timing is impeccable with economic issues at the heart of the G20 and the tourism industry a major contributor to the world economy,” said GIFT Professor Dave Weaver.
“Add to this the status of China as a major player at the G20 Summit and it confirms the importance and potential wide-ranging benefits for domestic and world-wide industry representatives attending the East-West Dialogue.”
The high-level, bi-lateral discussions at this important conference will bring together more than 100 representatives of Australian and Chinese Government, education and research institutions, plus valued contributions from the tourism industry.