Home' micenet eMag : micenet April May 2015 Contents TOP 5 | LAUREN ARENA
DIRECTOR OF SALES &
PARK HYATT MELBOURNE
1 Strategic planning: Companies wishing to engage with Asia need to incorporate strategic
planning and management practices in their business plan. Asia should not be treated as
one market but as multiple markets as each has its own characteristics and cultural
idiosyncrasies. Research is paramount across business and market knowledge whether it
is China or India to develop key objectives. This can be supported by developing networks
across industry organisations or trade associations to successfully engage with businesses
in those countries. Park Hyatt Melbourne recently launched the 'Nin Hao' Programme, an
initiative tailor-made for Chinese guests, in response to the increasing number of Chinese
travellers. Nin Hao means "a warm welcome with respect" in Mandarin and includes a
welcome letter, maps and information brochure in Chinese, a Chinese TV channel and a
direct 24 hour line to a Mandarin-speaking guest services associate.
2 Access to reliable information for business development activities: For companies to
enter any new market successfully, they need access to accurate and reliable information.
Equally, companies need to carefully understand the similarities and differences from both a
business and cultural perspective. Having valuable insights from resources on the ground
or from those with firsthand experience in a particular country is critically important.
3 Be culturally aware: A major barrier for many companies wishing to engage with Asia is a
lack of cultural knowledge. This cuts across many aspects such as language, religion,
cuisine, values, social etiquette and commercial practices which can vary greatly across
nationalities. Fortunately, the hospitality industry is a multi-cultural industry with employees
having the opportunity to transition across continents.
4 Ensure staff undertake cultural training: Conduct regular cultural training to ensure all
staff understand how to deliver the service and standards that Asian consumers expect. In
particular, frontline staff who have direct dealing with clients as they are often the first point
of contact in welcoming or providing a service. Guests do not expect you to understand
everything about their local customs but they will appreciate anything they perceive as a
special attempt to make them feel welcome.
5 Multi lingual communication: The ability to communicate effectively with clients in their
local language will facilitate business negotiations and foster working relationships.
Communicating effectively also includes providing in-language material whether it is printed
brochures, online or signage.
1 Negotiation: This is important and expected but what is more important is the added
value you can offer the client. Asia-based clients want to see you showcase that you value
their business and a long-term partnership.
2 Balance: You need to find the balance between creating an Australian experience but
keeping familiarity with their culture. This includes menu selection, physical activities, sun
3 Culinary culture: Culinary expectations are high and servicing the dietary requirements
across the group could determine the success of a program. Generalising with general
vegetarian references can be disastrous -- the difference between Indian and Mainland
China vegetarian dietary requirements is vast.
4 Be flexible: Be prepared to change a program at any time during the delivery -- flexibility
really is key.
5 Creativity: With higher disposable incomes in the Asian community and increased global
travel, Asia incentive groups are moving away from basic "group" itineraries to becoming
more bespoke and incentivised. Acknowledge and embrace the cultural diversities within
the various Asian countries from the North Asia to SE Asia, Japan to India and weave
these diversities with the Australian culture to create a truly unique experience. m
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