Holly, China Ready – a case study, HollyG, 23 July 2016
China Ready for Tourism, what does it really mean? with Deanna Varga from Australian National Maritime Museum
Welcome to Tourism Upgrade the podcast unpacking marketing trends from travel, tourism and marketing leaders. I’m your host HollyG and today we welcome Deanna Varga, Assistant Director of Commercial and Visitor Services at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Today on the podcast we will be discussing what does China Ready mean for tourism operators.
Holly G: Look forward to talking China Ready but first can you give us a little brief overview of the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Deanna V: We’re located in Darling Harbour right opposite Sydney Aquarium or it’s called Sea Life now and just under Pyrmont Bay. We are a Federal Government Cultural Institution, the only institution outside of Canberra that is federally government funded. And my role is to really try and generate the self-generated funding but we attract over half a million visitors per year. And the purpose of the museum is really about a Australia’s relationship to water. So, it’s all things maritime from the Navy to Indigenous to play for kids.
Holly G: So, you identified the need to grow visitation from different markets at some point and you decided to target international and specifically China. Why would those markets identified as good ones to target for you?
Deanna V: Well firstly, when I started at the Museum which is coming up to three years ago, international visitation was 19%. And given Darling Harbour is the No. 2 I think, it rates between No. 2 and No. 3 attraction for international visitors, I thought that was quite low. And given the attractions around Darling Harbour have quite a high international visitation; I thought we had an untapped market there. Secondly, with the construction of the ICC Sydney and also the pulling down of the Monorail linked to the ICC Sydney, we really needed to look at ways to drive visitation that was not going to be impacted by construction. And one of those markets is international tourism. So, that’s international tourism broadly then, why China? Well, China was growing and it’s growing as we all know significantly for Australia and looking at our numbers the Chinese market are also quite low. But, we knew that we had a product that the Chinese were interested in, particularly the HMB Endeavour which is an exact replica of Captain Cook’s vessel and that was the starting point really.