Tourism sector gets ‘China Ready’

Tourism sector gets ‘China Ready’

Fri, February 16, 2018

A specialist training programme has helped tourism providers across the Causeway Coast and Glens to enhance their understanding of Chinese visitors.

The ‘China Welcome Training’ is certified by the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, the world's leading independent research institute for Chinese outbound tourism.

18 businesses took part in the initiative at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s headquarters in Coleraine. In addition to this, 60 National Trust staff based at the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, including bus drivers and auxiliary staff, will complete the training later this month.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Joan Baird OBE said: “I’m delighted Council has been able to provide this training opportunity which will allow participants to gain a greater understanding of the needs of the Chinese tourist. The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre has the highest number of Chinese visitors on the island of Ireland and this will be enhanced by the introduction of direct flights between Dublin and Hong Kong later this year. By gaining this prestigious accreditation, tourism providers in the Causeway Coast and Glens are putting themselves in the best possible position to cater for this hugely important market.”

Destination Manager Kerrie McGonigle said: “It’s crucial that our tourism providers are able to respect the unique culture and motivations of Chinese visitors. The training is part of the EU-China Year of Tourism 2018 campaign which aims to encourage greater consideration of the Chinese market and build awareness of its growing importance. The programme provides businesses with the tools to attract and appropriately ‘welcome’ Chinese visitors, to ensure they have a memorable time in the Causeway Coast and Glens.”

In the last five years, China’s tourism expenditure has more than doubled, and in 2016 Chinese visitors spent $216bn overseas. On average, Chinese visitors tend to stay longer and spend more than other groups and their peak holiday periods tend to be October, January and February.

Alongside recognition for the individual participants, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has received the ‘China Ready’ Quality Label. This recognises the new range of services and facilities available specifically for Chinese tourists in the Borough.

George Wilson, trainer from China Outbound Tourism Research, Lisa Beattie and Steve Stewart from the National Trust, Kerrie McGonigle, Destination Manager, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Brian Connolly from Tourism NI pictured after the 'China Welcome Training' held in Cloonavin for tourism businesses from across the Causeway Coast and Glens.

Representatives from 18 tourism businesses across the Causeway Coast and Glens celebrate their completion of the prestigious 'China Welcome Training', supported by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.