Understand China to tap into tourism market

Tourism stakeholders in PNG have been urged to better understand China to tap into its billion dollar tourism market.

This is the consensus shared during a workshop hosted by Air Niugini and the Tourism Promotion Authority of PNG.

The 'China Ready Workshop' is a stepping stone for airlines, tour operators, hotels and other Tourism stakeholders to attain certification and accreditation as a trusted service provider for Chinese tourists.

Early this year Air Niugini announced that direct flights to China would begin in March ,2018.

CEO Simon Foo says the decision was a risky one and thus it was important to make it sustainable by ensuring they along with other stakeholders understand the market.

Air Niugini has rights to two flights a week and aims to be the gateway to the Pacific.

"It's a very big risk we have to take. And we need your support to make it work.

"When the Chinese visitors come here, we need to understand what their desires are, and what they're wishes are," Foo said.

TPA CEO, Jerry Agus,  said PNG signed an 'Approved Destination Status' with China to allow group travels into the country. However that has not been successful.

Agus said understanding the market will create better promotion and marketing to entice Chinese tourists.

"We can't use the generic marketing and promotional strategy in the Chinese market," said Agus.

"You really need to understand the market properly in terms of customer behavior, demographic and the tourism products they want to see from Papua New Guinea."

The workshop is run by 'Welcome China,' CEO Marcus Lee.

Welcome China is the largest accreditor of tourism service providers around the world which Chinese tourists use to ascertain the value of effective service they would receive.

Participants will be given certification following the workshop and after a year’s program will be accredited and included in Welcome China's online portal accessible to billions of Chinese tourists.

Cedric Patjole