Port Arthur Historic Site is building on interpretation opportunities for Chinese visitors this summer with several tours and talks being offered daily in Mandarin. Over recent months, visitors from China have overtaken traditional markets such as the UK, USA, Canada and New Zealand as the major international source market for Port Arthur. The tours commenced on Boxing Day, 26 December and will be offered throughout January.
Director of Tourism Operations Anne McVilly said, “With the exponential growth in visitors from China we have worked hard to accommodate an inclusive visitor experience by offering visitor maps, way finding signage, menus and soon, our interactive audio tour in Mandarin for the self guided tourist. We are now able to trial several introductory walking tours and museum house talks each day to complement the range of activities offered in Mandarin.”
“Our recent research and reviewing of Chinese social media sites, where visitors have posted photos and comments about their visit to Port Arthur, shows them engaging with the site in as many and varied ways however we wanted to ensure our Chinese visitors have a comprehensive experience by offering tours in Mandarin.”
Port Arthur Historic Site partnered with the University of Tasmania to source International students to provide these additional activities. Students participated in the Assisted Placement of International Students (APIS) program run by the Tasmanian Hospitality Association and funded by the University of Tasmania and the Department of State Growth. Under the APIS program, the international students were given two weeks full time hospitality training which gave them the skills to fill seasonal vacancies in the tourism and hospitality industry. Upon completion students were introduced to a range of employers, including the Port Arthur Historic Site, who have recruited 8 students for employment with them this summer.
International students studying in Australia bring a diverse range of skills, language and cultural backgrounds, and are entitled to work under conditions of their student visa.
While the new Mandarin tours are being offered for a trial period, it is anticipated that participation will be so popular that a permanent arrangement is likely to be sought to cater to this ever growing market.