百家旅宿業者齊聚 國際環境營造及行銷講座開講!Seminar on promoting international marketing attracted hundreds of hotel operators

2018-09-05

     為推動英語為第二官方語言政策,營造英語友善環境,打造臺南成為國際化城市,臺南市政府第二官方語言專案辦公室(簡稱二官辦)今(3)日與晶英酒店合作辦理「2018臺南旅宿業營造國際化環境暨國際行銷講座」。邀請Airbnb台灣暨香港公共政策總監蔡文宜,針對旅宿業如何國際行銷等議題進行分享;另邀請臺南民宿協會理事長周榮棠,以自身實務經驗為例,談如何打造外籍人士心中理想的旅宿環境。南市府期能透過實務經驗分享,協助臺南旅宿業者營造國際化環境,進一步瞭解如何突顯自身優勢,將在地特色行銷至國際。講座消息一公佈,獲得旅宿業者廣大迴響,座無虛席,出席業者會後紛紛表示「這樣的交流平台太棒了,應經常辦理!」

     晶英酒店李靖文總經理於致詞時表示,旅館跟民宿其實非競爭關係,應是「競合」概念,彼此互相學習。惟有當大家一起攜手打造國際化環境,才能成就臺南觀光最成功的藍海策略。李靖文樂見所有旅宿業者共聚一堂、交流學習。

   目前經營艸祭Book Inn周榮棠理事長以自身經驗為例,說明如何打造英語友善環境,如登記住宿表、環境標語等,以及中英日文併呈的民宿官網,方便外籍旅客於網路上搜尋相關資料、安心訂房。周榮棠自謙英文不好,但仍能順利接待十幾個國家的旅客,鼓勵臺下業者「我們不僅要讓世界認識臺南,更要讓世界走進臺南」。

    Airbnb公共政策蔡文宜總監一開場即分析全球旅遊趨勢,說明因冷戰結束等種種因素,十多年來,球旅遊市場呈現上升趨勢。目前臺灣觀光產業僅佔GDP約2%左右,而其他觀光發展佳的國家約佔GDP10%左右,相較之下,臺灣觀光產業仍有相當大成長空間。以樂觀的角度來看,臺灣旅宿業還有很大的市場待開拓,政府可強化業者輔導,而業者間亦應加強產業競合、共創商機!蔡文宜強調,B&B在外國人觀念中的僅是「一個能過夜、提供一份早餐」的場所,但臺灣的民宿融合在地文化特色,就國際背包客而言,相當具有吸引力。

    蔡文宜表示,即使是星馬、香港等地區人民可用中文溝通,也不代表熟悉繁體字,因此業者應回頭檢視旅宿環境的英文資訊是否充足、英文標示是否清楚。除了雙語資訊呈現,蔡文宜亦強調應納入文化背景因素。台灣業者習慣「直接翻譯」,但欠缺文化理解,外國人是看不懂的,她說。蔡文宜以肉圓為例,問現場業者「你該如何向韓國人介紹這種『外表不像meat ball』的臺灣美食?」,她強調要從外國人的文化背景思考,更鼓勵業者要熟悉附近的店家、景點,這樣才能告訴年輕的背包客們「哪裡可以打卡」「為什麼有打卡的價值」。

    根據Airbnb調查,目前活躍客群的年齡層皆為33歲以下,且多半為網路社群媒體用戶者,如旅宿業者想要出奇致勝,除了旅宿環境的特色外,也可以嘗試結合地區特色,例如:玉井芒果季、鹽水蜂炮等節慶,讓旅客感受到不同以往的旅行體驗,再透過旅客的社群媒體發酵,善用google map、社群媒體、網路平台,增加自家旅館/民宿的英文評論,就是目前最實用的行銷平台,大有機會提高歐美、東南亞旅客比例!

    市府二官辦表示,臺南為臺灣文化首都,街景古蹟佇立、小吃道地美味,深具臺灣文化代表性,被外籍人士列為來臺必訪之地。而舒適、友善的旅宿空間如同親善大使,迎接來自世界各國的旅客,亦代表著臺南城市形象。因此,市府自2017年起便積極協助旅宿業者營造英語友善環境,例如製作雙語簡介、雙語標誌等,截至今年預計獲得英語友善標章的合法旅宿共28間,頗受業者好評。然而,「給魚吃,不如教業者如何釣魚!」,為協助業者能自主性營造英語友善環境、進行國際行銷,二官辦特別與晶英酒店合作辦理講座,期待集結臺南市旅宿業者之力量,打造臺南成為國際化城市。

    To promote the establishment of English-friendly environment in Tainan’s hotels and hostels, Office of English as the Second Official Language of Tainan City Government (OEASOL) joined hands with Silks Place Hotel to hold the 2018 Seminar on Building an International Environment & Promoting International Marketing for Tainan’s Hotel Industry on Sep. 3.

    The seminar featured two keynote speeches delivered by Ms. Gina Tsai, the Head of Public Policy in Hong Kong and Taiwan at Airbnb, and Mr. Rong-Tang Chou, Director of the Tainan Homestay Culture Association, respectively. The former addressed issues of achieving effective international marketing for local hotel operators; the latter drew on his personal experience to exemplify how to build an ideal hostel environment for foreign travelers. With the speakers sharing their practical experiences and know-how, Tainan City Government hoped to help local hotel and hostel operators establish a truly international environment and further highlight their advantages while marketing Tainan's distinctive features worldwide. The seminar was well received by the participating hotel and hostel operators with all the seats occupied.

    Ms. Rebecca Lee, General Manager of the Silks Place Hotel, noted in her opening remark that the relationship between hotels and hostels should not be competitive, but cooperative. There are things for both sides to learn from each other. “The best blue ocean strategy for Tainan's tourism industry is for all the hotel and hotel operators to join hands to build an international environment.” Lee was happy to see everyone in the hotel industry gather together and exchange ideas.

    Mr. Rong-Tang Chou shared his own experience of building an English-friendly environment for foreign tourists in his Caoji Book Inn. Such approaches included providing bilingual registration cards and signs, and offering a multilingual website with Chinese, English and Japanese versions, which enables foreigners to browse and make reservations easily. Chou said that although he does not speak good English, he is still able to host guests from more than 10 different countries. He encouraged fellow operators of hotels and hostels by saying, "Not only do we want to introduce Tainan to the world, but we also want to invite the world to visit Tainan.”

    Ms. Gina Tsai began her speech by analyzing the trend of global tourism. She explained that over the past 10-odd years, the market of global tourism has been rising due to the ending of the Cold War and other reasons. At present, Taiwan's tourism industry only accounts for roughly 2% of our GDP, while some other countries have more prosperous tourism industries that account for 10% of their GDP. This sharp contrast means that Taiwan's tourism industry still has considerable space for growth. On a more optimistic note, there is still a large market to be explored. The government can serve as the role of the consultant for the industry, and the industry should also enhance cooperation to create more business opportunities. Gina Tsai emphasized that foreigners generally consider B&B as merely a place that provides "a bed for the night and a breakfast.” However, B&Bs in Taiwan are integrated with local culture, which is a great appeal to numerous international backpackers.

    Gina Tsai remarked that although people from Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong might be able to communicate verbally in Chinese, that doesn't mean they are necessarily familiar with reading traditional Chinese. Therefore, hotel operators should reconsider if there are clear and sufficient English signs and information in their hotels and B&Bs. Gina stressed that the bilingual signs should also consider readers' cultural background. Many English signs in Taiwan are translated literally from Chinese, which is hard for foreigners to understand if they do not have prior knowledge of the culture. Take the Bawan (Taiwanese meatball) as an example. She asked, "How would you introduce this famous Taiwanese food to Korean travelers with its look far different from their impression of meatballs?" She encouraged the audience to start thinking from the foreign tourists' perspectives. Hotel and hostels operators should familiarize themselves with shops and attractions near their establishments so that they can tell young backpackers where they can tag themselves on Facebook and why these places are worth taking photos and sharing on social media.

    According to a report by Airbnb, the average age of active users on its website is under 33, and most of the respondents are also users of social media. In addition to showcasing characteristics of their accommodation, hotel and B&B operators can try to combine unique local cultural events, such as the Mango Festival in Yujing and the Beehive Firecrackers in Yanshui, to provide visitors with experiences completely different from before, which will be an effective means of promotion through their sharing on social media. Posting visitors' English review on Google Map, social media, and online platforms also helps to increase the number of travelers from Europe, America, and Southeast Asia.

    OEASOL noted that Tainan, well-known for its historical buildings and delicious food, is the cultural capital of Taiwan. Many foreign travelers consider Tainan as a must-visit place because it represents the Taiwanese culture. The hotels and hostels therefore serve as the ambassadors of Tainan, welcoming visitors from all over the world with their friendly and comfortable accommodation. They are the embodiment of the image of Tainan. Therefore, since 2017, it has been assisting hotels and hostels to create English-friendly environments, such as making bilingual brochures and signs. Up to now 28 hotels and hostels have earned the English-friendly emblems by upgrading their environment. However, OEASOL believed that "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. " With this goal in mind, OEASOL hoped that through its joint effort with Silks Place Hotel, the hotel and hostel operators in Tainan will recognize the importance of building an English-friendly environment and learn the ropes about marketing themselves internationally. The ultimate objective is to build Tainan into an international city through the combined effort of the government and the local hotel industry.