Katherine is becoming “China-ready” for the expected arrival of a new tourism link.
In preparation for Donghai Airlines starting direct flights from Shenzhen in Southern China to Darwin this month, the NT Government has been working to ensure the tourism sector is ‘China Ready’.
About 14 China-based travel agents are expected in Katherine on June 8 to familiarise themselves with local attractions.
Chinese travel journalists may also be part of the local tour to Katherine.
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss said making the NT a ‘China Ready Destination’ including training 55 tour guides is important so we can capitalise on more Chinese tourists.
“Getting ‘China Ready’ is crucial as we target 30,000 Chinese visitors annually with an estimated expenditure of $46 million by 2020,” she said.
“Donghai Airlines are working with agents to develop itinerary packages that extends from Darwin to Kakadu, Katherine, Alice Springs and Uluru. This is a good news story for the entire Territory.
“A key component of the “’China Ready’ Program has been accrediting mandarin speaking guides to lead tour groups through our two world heritage listed national parks, Uluru Kata Tjuta and Kakadu.
“A collaboration between the NT Government, Charles Darwin University and Parks Australia, the face-to-face intensive guide training program is a requirement for all tour guides working and leading tours within these national parks.”
Twenty mandarin speaking guides recently completed a three-day training program gaining Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park Tour Guide Accreditation.
The Uluru Kata Tjuta guide training follows a program in Kakadu National Park where 35 mandarin speaking guides successfully achieved their Kakadu Knowledge Tour Guide certificate.
Other ‘China Ready’ initiatives include the Welcome China Program and China Ready Workshops, run in partnership with China Ready & Accredited (CRA) to attain global accreditation. Local Darwin business Darwin Harbour Cruises were one of them.
Peng Liu, Director of Aussie Panda an Adelaide based company specialising in Chinese touring said training is crucial to enhancing the NT’s competiveness and professional service.
“We have great interest in Uluru and would like in the near future to extend our tour from Adelaide to Alice Springs, Uluru and then onto Darwin,” Mr Liu said.
To learn more visit: www.turbochargingtourism.nt.gov.au. For more information on the China Ready industry program visit: http://tourismnt.com.au/en/industry-toolkit/grants-and-funding/current-programs/china-ready-industry-program
Territorians can book direct return flights from Darwin to Shenzhen starting on May 30.