China tourism expert Dr Marcus Lee has conveyed three key steps for PNG tourism stakeholders to consider to tap into China’s 122 million tourist travelers.
Dr Lee emphasized the importance of localising marketing content to various stakeholders from the local tourism and hospitality sector.
Website hosting in China was one step Dr Lee said would enable potential tourists from the Asian country to take note of PNG tourism products in a highly regulated internet space in China.
“If you have English websites I presume we read your websites. We don’t read so much English and also we have no Google, Facebook and Youtube.
If those websites are blocked do you think your website is blocked?”
“You need to have a Chinese website hosted in China. We only have 731 million internet users last year and its growing,” Dr Lee said.
A second step discussed by the China market specialist, included offline marketing initiatives though road shows and press conference hosted in China to bring companies direct to customers in the country.
Dr Lee said the representation by the tourism industry needs to be kept in China itself in order to localize and enable effective real time communication.
“Let’s say you have a Chinese website and when I click ‘contact us’ what do I see. Do I see address in Port Moresby and telephones address in Papua New Guinea?
If it is true, do you think a Chinese tour operator is going to call you.”
“You need a Chinese address either set up by yourself or hire a marketing agent,” Dr Lee said.
He said there was a need for a proactive approach is needed to capture the Chinese market.
With the country set to have its first direct flight to the second largest in world in March next year- efforts to make the most of the expected economic benefits are vital for local businesses in the tourism sector.
“Having an office in China is not enough. PNG needs a dedicated person to sit in China and call everyone two days a week to do relationship management,” Dr Lee said.
(Source: Papua New Guinea Post-Courier November 2017)