Scottish hotel owners told to learn Mandarin and provide pot noodles for Chinese tourists
Scottish hotel owners told to learn Mandarin and provide pot
The Spring Festival holiday has become a new fashion for the New Year, and it has become a "sweet" for the tourism industry in all countries. In order to attract more Chinese tourists, Scotland urges hotel staff to learn Mandarin and provide hot water; Italian taxis open Alipay to pay; Thailand Airport has a special channel for Chinese tourists... The world welcomes the "Year of China".
Hoteliers in the Scottish Highlands are being urged to learn Mandarin and provide chopsticks to capitalize on growing numbers of Chinese tourists.
The Highlands are becoming increasingly fashionable among China’s burgeoning middle classes and super-rich and the Highland and Islands Enterprise development agency is organizing China Ready workshops to help restaurateurs and businesses to cater for them.
Monica Lee-Macpherson, chairwoman of the Scottish Highlands and Islands and Moray Chinese Association, said B&B owners should provide Pot Noodles and disposable chopsticks in rooms and urged restaurants to create picture menus.
Ms Lee-Macpherson, a Chinese-Scot who leads tours of popular destinations, says the Chinese are often frustrated by poor facilities, having to share bathrooms, and a lack of places to buy designer goods.
“A lot of hotels have Polish, Italian, Spanish or even Japanese speakers, but I don’t know any that have Mandarin speakers,” she told The Times. “They don’t even learn simple phrases like ‘how are you?’, ‘good morning’ or ‘thank you’.”
She stressed that Scottish businesses would need to adapt if they were to take advantage of Chinese tourists’ desire to spend money while on holiday.
She told The Times that the Chinese want to buy Scottish souvenirs to commemorate their visit.
However, on examining merchandise in the shops, the Chinese visitors are often disappointed to find the dreaded three words: 'Made in China.'
She said: “We think too much about Europeans, but how often do you see a European visitor go and buy four cashmere jumpers without even batting an eyelid? Chinese people have new found wealth and will spend that money.”
Lee-Macpherson added that shops should stay open later to make the most of visitors’ deep pockets, as they have told her: “Your shops close at 5pm or 6pm, so after we have had our dinner there are no places for us to spend our money.”
More simple things can be instigated by hotels and restaurants, according to Graeme Ambrose, who runs Visit Inverness Loch Ness.
These include ensuring there are twin beds, which are more popular for Chinese guests, and providing lukewarm rather than cold water.
“Another thing businesses will have to get used to is that Chinese people expect to be able to pay for things using apps on their phones,” he said.
“These are affluent people with a lot of money to spend and the challenge is to recognize what their likes and dislikes are so they get the best possible experience when they are here.”
Scotland attracted 62,000 Chinese visitors in 2017, who spent £44m in total, according to Visit Scotland.