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 April 09, 2014
Sydney Shines As A First-Class Incentive Destination For Chinese Visitors

 Sydney continues to shine as one of China's favourite incentive destinations, with a record 85 events from Asia secured by Business Events Sydney taking place in Sydney over the past three years.

These 85 business events have contributed an estimated economic impact of $190 million and in terms of delegates numbers over this substantial growth period, Business Events Sydney (BESydney) has welcomed some 41,000 incentive delegates.

Starting off 2014 with another set of healthy figures, 2,700 incentive delegates have visited Australia's harbour city this quarter.

Business Events Sydney (BESydney) CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith attributes Sydney's success in this market to a number of factors. "The city's event hosting expertise, the fresh itinerary options that are always available, BESydney's focus on building solid relationships over the past decade (being the first Australian bureau to establish an office in Asia) and the city's multicultural base, are definitely key strengths."

"Sydney has so much to offer its clients -- our valued event partners. And above all, Sydney is China ready.

"Being 'China ready' is more than providing an exciting array of attractions, restaurants, hotels and outdoor leisure pursuits. It's about understanding the Chinese delegate, from their culinary preferences and social sensitivities to their country's distinct way of doing business. It's about going above and beyond, and this is where Sydney excels.

"Sydney's business events industry is continually refining its offer for the Chinese incentive market. The number of Sydney hotels, attractions and suppliers that are up-skilling their staff and customising their products to appeal to the Chinese market continues to grow.

"Our city is always looking for new ways to enhance the visitor experience and an increasing number of our suppliers have undertaken a raft of activities to cater for growing demand, including providing Chinese language or cultural study lessons to their staff, integrating Chinese language tours into their offerings and re-thinking menu and media options.

"Our whole city is ready and able to provide an unparalleled experience for the Chinese visitor and this is evidenced in the number of events we secure each year -- a growing number of which is repeat business," says Ms Lewis-Smith.

Excitingly, later this year Pro-Health China is hosting its annual conference in Sydney! We are extremely honoured that they are bringing approximately 4,500 of its highest achievers to Australia's leading event destination in September. This is the first time that the Pro-Health China Annual Conference has taken its incentive outside of Asia. The company selected the harbour city on the basis of a very successful, and much smaller, VIP trip in 2009. This event comes off the back of last year's Perfect China Leadership Seminar, which was worth $21 million to the city. This event was also secured following a previously successful smaller group trip to Sydney.

Examples of Sydney's Chinese-focused activity include:

- BridgeClimb Sydney has introduced two daily climbs that are led by Mandarin-speaking climb leaders
- 12 Accor properties across NSW have achieved what Accor labels 'Chinese Optimum Service Standards'. These hotels have adopted Chinese hotel welcome kits, menus and business cards, Chinese meals and utensils in the restaurant, Chinese adaptor plugs, dedicated TV channels and newspapers
- Sydney Airport's work with BESydney and Destination NSW to improve the crucial visitor arrival experience to ensure that people feel welcome from the moment they disembark
- The City of Sydney has also rolled out seminars for city retailers to help them understand the Chinese visitor, their needs and expectations
- Sydney, the premium gateway to Australia, is serviced by Chinese carriers, other Asian airlines and Qantas, and receives 39 flights from China every week. Recent bi-lateral agreements have resulted in significant capacity increases for existing carriers, while route development and increasing capacity on primary routes will remain a focus
- The recent partnership between the Australian Tourism Export Council and the National Australia Bank will mean Chinese visitors will have more opportunities to use their UnionPay cards in many stores, restaurants and even taxis across the city.

BESydney currently has in-market offices in Shanghai and Singapore as well as a team of bi-lingual staff in its Sydney office. Mandarin is the most commonly spoken language in Sydney, after English, and the city proudly celebrates its strong and vibrant Chinese cultural community.

To continue to build the Sydney -- China relationship, Ms Lyn Lewis-Smith is taking part in Australia Week in China (AWIC) activities in Shanghai, 9-11 April, as part of an Australian Government mission, led by Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, to help strengthen ties between Australia and China and to promote Australia as a trade, investment and education partner and tourism destination.

BESydney's Director of Asia Sinead Yeo and Director of China Cheryl Siow will participate in Tourism Australia's North Asia Showcase, which will intersect with the launch of Australia Week in China in Shanghai.