‘Non-English speaking Chinese diners can only order noodles’

July 17, 2015, 8:17 pm

Aitken Spence Travels

The awards ceremony which marked the launching of the partnership of Guangdong Tourism Cooperation with Aitken Spence. Concurrent to the event, a bilateral tourism promotion centre was established in Vauxhall Street, Colombo.

by Sanath Nanayakkare

Chinese diners who don’t understand what’s on a menu printed in English would only order noodles, leaving out all other gastronomical delights, Ren Faqiang China’s deputy ambassador in Sri Lanka said recently at the Guangdong, China-Sri Lanka Tourism Cooperation Seminar-2015 held at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo.

Striking at the heart of a difficulty faced by the visiting Chinese, the deputy ambassador said, “Chinese people are eager to go sightseeing overseas which creates an immense market for foreign countries. In this sense, Sri Lanka is high up in tourist attractions for Chinese tourists, but the communication difficulty is a big inconvenience they face when they arrive here.

“Most of the Chinese visitors who visit your country don’t speak English. In order to arouse enthusiasm among them and to make them feel more at home quickly and easily, Sri Lanka Tourism ought to strategically feature the Chinese language in its travel and leisure brands, Faqiang suggested.

A high-powered delegation from the Guangdong Provincial Tourism Association attended this seminar to attract Sri Lankan tourists to China. On the day this seminar was held, Guangdong Tourism Cooperation and Promotion Centre was established in Vauxhall Street, Colombo, in partnership with Aitken Spence.

As Guangdong Province’s outbound tourism market records eight million annually, it is believed that bilateral tourism cooperation will bring more Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka.

Guangdong is the 13th biggest economy in the world with a GDP of around $ 1 trillion, earning $16.5 billion from its tourism business alone. Guangdong and Sri Lanka have had cultural, economic, trade and staff exchanges over the past years.

The Chinese deputy ambassador speaking further on the bilateral understanding said, “The partnership between Guangdong Tourism and Sri Lanka Tourism will not only have the potential for Sri Lanka’s tourist trade; it will also have a potential for investment as Chinese millionaires and billionaires would be visiting the country.

“It would be a good idea to put up signs in Chinese in the arrivals lounge of the airport and at immigration counters to help the Chinese traveler in a meaningful way. The menus, entertainment information, hotel brochures etc., may also have a Chinese version. Chinese language training for various service providers, interpreters and tour guides would be welcome by the non-English speaking travellers. They would also love to watch CCTV and listen to Chinese radio, the deputy ambassador pointed out.

Located in south China, Guangdong is the southern gate of the Chinese mainland, bordering Hong Kong, Macao and is geographically close to ASEAN countries. The province boasts abundant travel resources and is extremely popular with travelers, a travel brochure states.

The region has seven national famous historical cities, including Guangzhou, Foshan, Chaozhou, Meizhou, Zhaoqing, Leizhou and Zhongshan. Each of these cities has unique characteristics. “Either the ancient architecture or modern scenery, natural beauty or folklore, these destinations will leave visitors surprised and amazed during their travel, the brochure further states.

At the seminar, the development of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was also highlighted.

Source: http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=128407#

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