“China Ready” seminars back by popular demand

Increasing numbers of Chinese visitors arriving into Christchurch Airport has seen southern tourism and business operators sign up for seminars which help them roll out the welcome mat.

The business owners and staff are taking advantage of seminars held around the South Island and, as the name suggests, "Becoming China Ready."

The 17 two-hour seminars have been presented by Amy Adams, a specialist in China Ready business seminars and promoted by SOUTH, a Christchurch Airport marketing initiative supported by the 13 regions of the South Island. 

Scott Callaway, General Manager - Trade Development & Marketing for Christchurch Airport, says hundreds of people who interact with tourists now understand how they can do better business easier with Chinese visitors.

"More than a thousand people attended last year's series of the first seminar, told others about it and it soon became clear we needed to do more," says Mr Callaway.

This year the first seminar is being repeated, as well as a new one giving advice on how businesses can customise what they offer the free independent traveller (FIT) segment of the tourist market.

"Tourism businesses around the South Island are well aware Christchurch is the fastest growing point of entry for Chinese visitors, who come here to travel around and experience our place in the world. After last summer, there is not one South Island destination which has not seen significant growth in number of Chinese visitors."

Mr Callaway says the seminars are meeting a definite demand from operators wanting to build the skills of owners, managers and frontline staff keen to do all they can to make every visitor's stay the best it can be.

"They are soaking up the great information and tips Amy is offering, making changes and seeing results. There are several stories of small changes bringing big benefits and the operators are sharing success stories with each other. It is a win for everyone involved."

Mr Callaway says the numbers of Chinese visitors to the South Island will continue to grow this summer with the increased flights coming into Christchurch Airport, including a new service from China Airlines.

More than 68,000 extra trans-Tasman flights into Christchurch this summer are also expected to increase numbers of travellers from other international hubs, who come into New Zealand from Australia.   

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