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China Host Program participants and presenters

South-west leads the way in China readiness

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Tourism hot-spots around Australia could follow in the footsteps of south-west Victoria, with the China Host Program earmarked for a national roll-out.

In 2018, the Warrnambool City Council secured $150,000 of Victorian Government funding to lead an Australian-first mentoring program to help businesses in the Great Ocean Road region capitalise on the booming Chinese tourism industry.

Fifteen south-west businesses took part in the program, which concluded in March.

Australian Tourism Export Council Managing Director Peter Shelley said that the issues and opportunities for south-west tourism businesses where similar to those in other areas of Australia.

“As an industry, we need to get better at delivering services for the China visitor,” he said.

“This program is fantastic because we talk about all of the cultural considerations, about how to engage in a marketing context, about payments and importantly, how to engage in trade in Australia and in China.

“It’s a great pioneering opportunity and we’re very thankful to the south-west business community for getting behind it.”

Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs Marketing Manager Lauren Orero said that the program helped her to look at tourism experiences from the point of view of a Chinese guest.

“It’s allowed us to get a really good, in-depth understanding of what the Chinese visitors’ needs and expectations are,” she said.

“It’s helped us to develop some clear actions towards introducing things like China-friendly payment options and distribution channels.”

The China Host Program is a partnership between the Warrnambool City, Moyne Shire and Corangamite Shire councils, South-West TAFE, Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism, Asialink Business, Dragon Tail International and the Australian Tourism and Export Council.

Participating businesses included 12 Apostles Helicopters, Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, Tower Hill Visitor Centre, Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs, Gardens Caravan Park, Live Wire Park, Alkina Lodge, Timboon Ice Creamery, Great Ocean Road Resort, Apollo Bay Bakery, Southern Ocean Mariculture, Cape Otway Light Station and Lady Bay Resort.

 

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