Chinese influx a sign of times in Cairns
TOURISM operators in the Port Douglas and Daintree region will soon adopt elements of Chinese translation, with the first direct flight from Shanghai landing in Cairns this week.
Managing director Sam Cullen of tourismportdouglas.com.au said he would encourage clients to translate sections of their websites to welcome Chinese tourists.
"We will be translating a number of key web pages in the short term," he said.
"The ultimate need is to welcome all visitors. Any Chinese influence would be welcomed."
Mr Cullen said businesses needed to promote the Port Douglas and Daintree region as a relaxing place to visit.
"The Chinese tourist market we're identifying for the Port Douglas region is probably going to be expat and from corporate Asia, and a lot will be English-speaking and reading," he said.
Smaller tour operators said they would wait to evaluate the market before making any significant changes, but said they have considered some options.
Daintree Safaris owner Annemaree Haley said they would develop Mandarin information packs.
"We're a small business so we can't hire a translator, but we will have translated information sheets in the vehicles," she said.
Daintree Discovery Tours owner Dianne Knight said she aimed to learn basic Chinese phrases with husband Grant.
"It's harder for a smaller company to employ a Chinese speaking guide, so we will learn a couple of simple things," she said.
"We will also update our website and get in contact with operators that will be bringing Chinese tourists around."
Down Under Tours co-owner James Dixon said the company had prepared China-specific itineraries for tours at Kuranda and off the Great Barrier Reef, but said they would wait for the Port Douglas and Daintree market to develop.
"The market dictates to us what they want," he said.
"The demand may be a little more Cairns-centric initially, but as the market matures they will want to get out more."
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