We refer to ourselves as some of the most travelled people in the world. If that is in fact the case why are we struggling to understand the culture and expectations of our key growth markets and as a result delivering a level of visitor experience that doesn’t even meet their expectations, leave alone exceeding it?
I remember doing business in Japan in the mid nineties and being horrified when I discovered the level of service the Japanese received everyday in their own country and what we were delivering when they visited our shores.
I was equally horrified when I discovered how little our tourism industry understood Japanese culture. Its appears we have learnt little from that experience and potentially the millions of marketing dollars wasted with negative word of mouth from returning visitors. We continue to make the same mistakes this time with two of our potential growth tourism markets China and India.
We have as a country and a tourism industry have little understanding of these cultures, their expectations or what they want from their visit to our shores.
One thing is for certain; we had better get our act together and fast. These two rapidly growing tourism markets have plenty of choice and if we are going to stand any chance of maximising this opportunity a plan of action must be implemented immediately.
It’s not rocket science. Find out what the expectations are from these two markets. Start a tourism industry cultural education plan and encourage the learning of the language. Don’t make the mistake that we have made in the pass of placing natives of these countries in frontline position.
Visitors travel to New Zealand so they can interact with Kiwis. Think for a moment what your travels would have been like if you interacted with Kiwis everywhere you went and how much that would have detracted from your experience.
Encourage industry to travel to these countries so tourism operators can learn first hand about the culture, dietary requirements and expectations of service levels and the overall visitor experience.
It’s vital the industry understands that our visitors will rate their New Zealand visit in terms of the total experience not just a great flight over or the odd good experience. That overall rating will determine how likely they will be to recommend us to others.
Currently that rating is nowhere near what it needs to be to motivate those powerful recommendations.
Customer Experiences is a NZ based organisations specialising in the developing of high quality customer experiences.
For further information – contact Chris Bell Managing Director Customer Experiences Ltd email firstname.lastname@example.org mb 027 2792360