New Chinese tour guide course aids Australian tourism industry

20 Dec 2017

A new training course for tour guides servicing the valuable in-bound Chinese tourist market has delivered its first wave of graduates.

With Australia welcoming more than 1.25 million Chinese tourists during the 2016–17 financial year, along with 2017 being the China-Australia Year of Tourism, the new course 'EXCITE’ (Excellence in Chinese Inbound Tour Guide Education) aims to enhance the visitor experience of this valuable market.

EXCITE focuses on increasing the number of bilingual tour guides servicing Chinese tourists in Australia and enhancing the proficiency of the guides and quality of the tours.

Launched by Austrade, in partnership with the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and TAFE NSW in June this year, participants undertook the course between September and October at TAFE NSW’s Ultimo campus.

Dan Williams, Austrade General Manager, Tourism Division, said the pilot program was implemented in response to feedback from industry.

‘The International Visitor Survey (IVS) launched this month shows Chinese tourists spent $10.3 billion during the year ending September 2017, an increase of 13 per cent, and new record for Australia,’ said Williams.

‘The number of Chinese tourists visiting Australia is projected to reach 3.9 million a year by 2026-27, with spending to exceed $26 billion. This is almost triple the number of tourists we received last financial year.

‘It’s critical that Australia capitalises on this opportunity and ensures Chinese tourists have the best travel experience possible; with initiatives like the EXCITE course ensuring it occurs,’ added Williams.

Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, also recognised the first graduates of the program last month at the ATEC Meeting Place 2017 conference and gala dinner in Perth.

Charmaine Wong, EXCITE program participant and the chosen program ambassador, was invited to attend the ATEC dinner to receive her award from Minister Ciobo.

Ms Wong’s attendance provided an opportunity to showcase the course to the industry and demonstrate Austrade’s commitment to strengthen the tourism industry’s ability to provide quality tourism services.

All graduates of the program receive a credit towards a nationally recognised qualification such as the TAFE NSW’s Certificate IV in Guiding.

The Steering Committee are currently considering feedback received from participants of the pilot program and TAFE NSW to inform next steps.

For further information, please contact Jason Naumovski, Assistant Manager Tourism Operations.