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SKYCITY gets China Ready

Since achieving its China Ready Accreditation in August 2017, SKYCITY has been launching forward with initiatives to continually improve the Chinese customer experience at its five sites.

Initiatives include launching WeChat, introducing WeChat Pay and Alipay, translating directional signage and a recently appointing a Business Development Manager – China who starts this month.

Chinese New Year celebrations at SKYCITY Auckland

Brad Burnett, General Manager SKYCITY Hotels and Sky Tower, says the initiatives are focussed on ensuring Chinese visitors feel welcome and comfortable during their stay at SKCYITY or visit up the Sky Tower.

“As a precinct we want to ensure our Chinese customers feel welcome and we are always looking at ways we can create a more seamless experience. It’s about ensuring our customers have a familiar way to experience a new country, a new precinct, within the comforts they’re used to,” said Mr Burnett.

“We’re taking this seriously. Gaining our China Ready accreditation was the first major milestone of our internal China Ready working group, which identifies, develops and implements initiatives to continually to improve the experiences of our Chinese customers,” says Mr Burnett. 

“Every travelling group wants to feel confident that they can enjoy their holiday without stress. These little comforts, familiarities, like ways to pay or simply being able to read signage, are important,” says Mr Burnett.

While the initiatives implemented so far are operations-based, SKCYITY has been working with the likes of Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Auckland Airport to ensure, long term, SKYCITY is aligned strategically with the wider industry.  

“We’ve taken a lot of learnings from leaders in this space, including ATEED and Auckland Airport, and our intent is very clear. We are excited to be working alongside industry on ways to grow this incredibly exciting tourism market,” says Mr Burnett.

Jun Jian (JJ) Zhong

SKYCITY’s internal China Ready project team spans across the company’s different sites and has been bolstered with three dedicated full-time resources hired over the past year, including the most recent appointment of Jun Jian (JJ) Zhong as Business Development Manager – China.

JJ will play a key role in driving SKYCITY’s future growth in this key market, developing opportunities within the businesses hospitality, tourism, convention, and cultural offerings. JJ will also be working closely with local industry to support the collective effort of promoting SKYCITY, Auckland and New Zealand tourism to China.

“I am really excited and proud to be able to be developing opportunities for SKYCITY within the China market.  I want SKYCITY to be known here and in China for its really warm, authentic welcome, and for offering the best customer experience.

JJ has worked at SKYCITY since 2010 and has most recently held the role of Business Development Manager – VIP Table Games. JJ will bring to the role his strong knowledge of the China and New Zealand markets, a great knowledge of local and international Chinese customers, particularly high value FIT travellers. 

Having moved from China to New Zealand as a teen, JJ has developed a personal passion for bringing the two cultures together.

“I am really driven to close the gap between Asian and Kiwi culture. This means teaching Kiwis about Chinese culture and sharing authentic Kiwi culture and experiences with our Chinese guests.

Over the past 12 months SKYCITY has implemented new payment channels Alipay and WeChat Pay, relaunched its WeChat account (ID: skycitynz) for its tourism and hospitality products, and repositioned advertising on Chinese booking engines like CTrip. Signage across its Auckland site and welcome information across both Hotels has been translated into Chinese, and special breakfast menus are offered that cater to the Chinese market. All of this is supported by SKYCITY’s multi-lingual welcome hosts in the SKYCITY Auckland atrium.

SKYCITY was one of the first wave of New Zealand companies to gain CHINA READY® accreditation alongside Tourism Holdings Limited Becoming in August 2017.

CHINA READY® is a global accreditation system that identifies products and services that Chinese consumers can trust. The trademark signifies quality assurance, cultural awareness, consumer protection and respect for Chinese travellers.

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