Industry Insights – Changing visitor markets and the importance of cultural understanding.
Understanding cultural differences of visitors.
Being prepared to understand and accept people from different cultures.
A good visitor experience leads to repeat business.
Importance of word-of-mouth marketing.
Adapting the product to accommodate different cultures.
Visitors from Southeast Asia and North Asia and Latin America we get quite a number of those.
So we are started to seeing a lot more people from Latin American coming through on our guided excursions. Then we are also starting to see more South Asians in our rental business as well.
The majority of the countries that we have are from Thailand, Malaysia, China, and Korea. Our bookings through Agoda have tripled in the last three years.
Engagement will be with China, and Taiwan, and Hong Kong and Singapore. Mainly Chinese-speaking customers.
The ones that we can see at the moment are Brazil, and Argentina, and China.
We are a business because of our customers. So, different customers have different needs. So you go to assess what their needs are, and deliver a world-class project.
Cultural understanding is very important. We are a tourism country. That’s what we are based on. We are going to get all these international people.
Because of the big shift in the clientele that we had, as a business we have to follow that as well. We got to be able to provide them with information and understand what their cultural requirements are for us to meet the needs of the clients.
We like to change our products to suit the visitors. I think that’s about being a good host. And I also think it’s important to give them a good experience, show them we care as well.
You have to respect their value system and their cultures. That’s always been always fairly easy for us to do with traditional markets. Lots of cultural similarities. But now cause we are in a different game
But it’s good for some people and normal for some people is not normal for others. So you got to be able to see where it sits and play into that. And make people at ease and deliver the best possible day for them.
So somebody from Singapore, which is basically kind of a city-country is much more sophisticated than say if you come from a bigger country and you are coming out into the countryside and you might be more traditional and you may not be quite so westernised.
So it’s really important to understand where your visitors are coming from and what sort of experience are they looking for as well.
You know, Latin America is so different to North Asia which is so different to Southeast Asia. Culturally they are very different. The way you got to communicate with them is very different.
If you got an understanding of the culture, it gives them a better experience. So it’s about actually understanding the needs of your customers and then been able to deliver a product that is able to suit those needs.
The benefits are returned customers. It’s word-of-mouth.
If they don’t have good customer service experience when they walk in that door, they will tell people not to come back.
If you have a cultural understanding, then your guests will have a better experience. And if they have a better experience, then that market will grow for you. So you go to start with understanding what the cultural needs are, delivering on them, and then the benefit of doing them correctly is that you make a little bit of money.
Not only they come back, they bring their friends. They bring their family. Words-of-mouth spread. Social media is there. Now with social media you can write all sorts of different reviews. Anything, any service you may wish, let us experience.
For our staff, a deeper understanding of the sort of visitors they are going to be hosting and then also the confidence to deal with those visitors as well.
You get the satisfaction of making the effort and getting the response. But it’s also a mature responsibility to sort of acknowledge and understand the differences that we have and so celebrate it.
Guests come and then they feel, yah feel more welcome and that’s what we are trying to achieve here as a company. And that’s what we are trying to achieve as a tourism country. That people come, and they feel welcome here, and that we are respecting them as well.