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Chinese encouraged to stay longer in Cairns region

September 6, 2013 DESTINATION No Comments Email Email

Travel agents in China have been shown the diversity of landscapes and experiences in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef in a bid to lengthen the stay of Chinese travellers in the region.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Rob Giason said TTNQ Eastern Marketing Manager Vicki Tang had just returned from a successful five-day sales trip with nine members to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou. Cordato

“The group had one-on-one appointments with 44 agencies, did destination and product presentations to a total of 420 agents, attended five networking dinners with five inbound tour operators in Shanghai and had two media interviews,” he said.

“During the presentations they played footage featuring Cairns & Great Barrier to help their consumer sales pitch.

“Information packages were created for travel agents to download with destination descriptions of Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’s six sub-regions and product descriptions of participating members’ products in Chinese to ensure consistency.

“Six four-night itineraries with optional activities also were created to promote each of the unique sub-regions and help the agents sell tailor-made itineraries to independent travellers.

“For example, one option takes the visitor on a self-drive journey to the Atherton Tablelands where they can experience farm tours featuring coffee, tropical fruit, wineries and dairies as well as see platypus and eat barramundi and red claw crayfish.

“From there it is just a two and a half hour drive from the rainforest through the Savannah grasslands to the outback where they can see lava tubes and wildlife.

“The return trip to Cairns could be via Mission Beach or Kuranda, or they could do a half day activity whether it is visiting the Great Barrier Reef, shopping, playing golf, white water rafting or horse riding.”

Mr Giason said seven members joined Ms Tang for a post sales tour to Hong Kong, Beijing and Nanchang, a third tier market where few people had heard of the Great Barrier Reef.

“Following the presentation to 400 people in Nanchang, we were delighted to see endorsement of Cairns & Great Barrier Reef on Chinese social media.

“In Beijing training was conducted for the staff of two respected agencies and the participating TTNQ members were able to have one-on-one appointments with the agency’s top managers.”

Dundee’s Restaurant owner Gary Low said this was the fifth year the Cairns waterfront restaurant had been part of a TTNQ sales call to China and each year the trip was becoming more productive.

“Having the agents lined up for us to talk to is invaluable and it is paying off as we are steadily getting more inquiries from both the free independent traveller and group markets,” he said.

Mr Giason said TTNQ’s work in China continued this week with Director of Business Events Rosie Douglas attending one of China’s largest international tradeshows for the conference and incentive market, CIBTM in Beijing which attracts more than 4000 professionals from across 30 countries.

“Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef is part of the stand with Business Events Australia where we have the opportunity for prescheduled appointments, group appointments and walk-by traffic,” he said.

“Going to the market is an essential part of stimulating passenger numbers for direct services to Cairns.

“I was part of a productive meeting in Shanghai late last month where we working on a marketing plan for the reintroduction of China Eastern’s direct service.

“These trips are part of hundreds of in-market activities TTNQ’ undertakes to boost Chinese visitors to the potential of 200,000 by 2015.

“For the year ending June 2013 we received 136,000 Chinese visitors giving our region a 53 per cent market share of the Chinese holiday and leisure visitors to Queensland.”

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