A group of savvy business and community leaders are acting early to capitalise on the Gold Coast’s growing attraction for Chinese investors and tourists, by undertaking a 10-week Chinese language and culture course at Griffith University’s Tourism Confucius Institute.
State Member for Southport Rob Molhoek MP said he was encouraged to delve into the Asian culture after meeting with Chinese delegations on the Gold Coast and at State Parliament.
“Meeting with Chinese investors represents significant potential for local investment and most importantly – local jobs,” Mr Molhoek said.
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“I thought it was important to prepare myself to engage with our Chinese visitors, and invited some of my Gold Coast business colleagues to join me.”
Mr Molhoek has partnered with Griffith University’s Tourism Confucius Institute to host the 10-week program with over 30 business and community leaders from the Gold Coast.
Professor Leong Liew , Director of the Tourism Confucius Institute, said while there were 323 other Confucius Institutes in the world, including 11 in Australia, this was the first focused on tourism.
“With Griffith’s strengths in hospitality and tourism education, the Institute can link with the University and Gold Coast Tourism with the relevant Ministry of Tourism in China to promote close industry linkages,” Professor Liew said.
China is Queensland’s fastest growing international market and largest by visitor expenditure, with travellers spending $536 million in the state last financial year, an increase of 27 per cent on the year prior.
The Gold Coast is one of the most popular destinations in Australia for Chinese travellers, welcoming 184,000 Chinese visitors during the past financial year – an increase of 30 per cent compared with the year prior.
The Institute offers short courses in Chinese language, culture and shadow boxing, including the 10-week course aimed at beginners and tourism operators dealing with Chinese visitors. Located at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus, it is a joint venture between Griffith University (pictured courtesy of hub.edu.au) and China University of Mining and Technology.