ATEC looks to extend China scheme

ATEC looks to extend China scheme
By admin

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) is looking to extend its initiative which aims to prepare members for the anticipated growth in Asian visitors.

The tourism body initially launched the China Development Program in South Australia but talks have begun with other states in the hope of extending the scheme.

Under the program, ATEC is working with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and former Tourism Australia executive Richard Beere to initially assess whether tourism operators are “inbound ready” before establishing their ability to cater for the Asian market and, more specifically, Chinese travellers.

“It is helping companies navigate the decision over whether they are suitably placed to target Asia and China,” ATEC managing director Felicia Mariani said. “They need to decide whether it’s right for their business.”

The program, launched in partnership with the South Australia Tourism Commission (SATC), began in February with participating tourism operators set to be reassessed on their progress in July.

“We have started to talk to other states,” Mariani said.

But speaking to Travel Today in Shanghai yesterday, Mariani stressed that not all members will have the ability to cater for Chinese travellers.

“There are still a lot of Australian operators who are dependent on traditional markets,” she said. “That’s why ATEC has continuing discussions with Tourism Australia who have taken on board and understand the need to keep working and investing in those markets.”

Mariani said there remained a lack of understanding of China. “I get a sense that a lot of operators believe Chinese visitors have just come off the farms. But they are sophisticated travellers, more sophisticated than we give them credit for.”

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