23 June 2012

Should our tourist operators learn Chinese dialects and customs?

I just heard a brief  radio interview about the tourism business in Oz.

Background information is that tourism in some parts of QLD has been suffering because of;
  • the global financial downturn
  • the rising Ozzie dollar
  • the summer of natural disasters 
"Should our tourist operators learn Chinese dialects and customs?"  

Questions asked were;
Q:  "How many local businesses, Australian owned businesses are adjusting and preparing for the Chinese market?...learning Mandarin, learning Cantonese....even common 'Thank you', 'Good morning' phrases, basic courtesies? "  
 A:  I would say a majority of business are looking at it at the moment...
Q: "Should we be learning Mandarin?"
A: "Well I probably should....It wouldn't hurt...we should make the effort to have more Mandarin speakers..."
One would think that in an effort improve tourism the operators would be doing everything they can to attract Chinese tourist.  The writing is on the wall people.

For example:

More Chinese Visitors Turn to Australia "Every year around 40 million Chinese head overseas, and Australia is one of the favourite destinations for these tourists."

Queensland urged to lure Chinese tourists with its shiny skyscrapers...give Chinese tourist what they want.

Figures show value of Chinese tourists Visitor Information  and Chinese tourists flock to Gold Coast seems they are getting it right on the Gold Coast, QLD, but this is only one area of QLD.

It seems that Queensland tourism operators are unprepared for Chinese visitors.  Most schools and colleges are still teaching Japanese or no language at all in the Sunshine State. How can future workers in the tourism industry learn Chinese?  If they don't learn it at school and they don't get training when in the industry, there is no way tourism workers can successfully cater to the needs of Chinese tourists. Language skills vital in an Asia-led world

Tourism in QLD seems slow to react to change. In comparison Sydney, New South Wales tourism is going to great efforts to prepare for Chinese tourists. Is Sydney doing enough to attract Chinese tourists?
Tourism Australia is this enough incentive?
Tourism Australia is this enough incentive?
Full interview can be viewed here Should our tourist operators learn Chinese dialects and customs?

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