SCENIC Rim Regional Council will be hosting a presentation to local business on how best to respond to the expected influx of visitors from Asian countries.
Originally scheduled for May 22, council says the event has now been postponed until July to accommodate several local tourism operators who were unable to attend at short notice.
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said the Asia Ready workshop was about helping businesses, whether they're bringing people to the region or looking to sell to them in their home markets.
"Here in the Scenic Rim we have something great that the world is itching to discover,” he said.
“How they discover it and how they remember it is very much coloured by how comfortable we make them feel when they come to visit us.
“The Asia Ready Workshop is a great way for our people to understand how they can approach those of different cultures and make them comfortable through their view of the world."
Guest presenter and managing director of Fastrak Asian Solutions Richard Beere said the aim of the workshop was to help local businesses understand the challenges that come with welcoming tourists from Asia and India.
“The idea is to provide a comprehensive introduction to what it means to work with the Asian market and help people decide whether or not this is something in which they want to be involved,” Mr Beere said.
“The workshop is not just for businesses in the tourism industry but also for cafes, restaurants and retailers – one of our biggest regional clients was a seafood cafe in South Australia.”
Mr Beere said there was no doubt that Asian visitors to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, especially from mainland China and India were on the rise, with the growth expected to extend to areas like the Scenic Rim.
“Will it be an avalanche? I don’t think so but it pays to be aware of the cultural differences and expectations of people from these areas and what you can do to tailor your products and programs to suit that market,” he said.
“The seminar helps with an understanding of three things – what is different about the visitor’s own countries, the environment and how things work for them, the differences in values, norms and cultural beliefs and the differences in the way they travel, which is often faster and for a shorter time.”
He said a lot of businesses, especially in regional areas, do not have a non-English strategy.
“So we have business people who say they know these people are coming but they don’t know what to do with them because they act differently and they have different expectations to other customers.
“It’s not about turning Chinese, it’s about providing an authentic Australian product or service and helping them to engage with your experience by making small changes to what you do.”
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