Wedding bells ring for Port Douglas
Red carpet rolls out for a new wave of Chinese visitors
“THE cake is already baked, we just need a little bit of it,” says Kavrine Mo, an inbound Chinese travel specialist based in Cairns.
She could be referring to a wedding cake, as she sees huge potential for Chinese weddings in Cairns and Port Douglas.
And beyond that is the entire spectrum of the incentives and conferences market.
Surprisingly, the mainland Chinese market is completely untapped when it comes to the corporate travel, conferences and incentives sector.
“We have everything they need here already,” Ms Mo tells the “But they just don’t know about it.”
And no one here, she says, is pitching these types of travel to them, despite everything we read about the rapid escalation in Chinese tourists coming to the Far North.
As it happened, probably the first Chinese corporate group to book the Sheraton Grande Mirage in Port Douglas was both about rewards and weddings.
A mainland Chinese company in the health sector, BSK, brought 60 people to the Sheraton this week.
It was a rewards/incentive package.
Each invitee was allowed to invite one another person. Eleven couples took the opportunity to renew their wedding vows at the same time.
Ms Mo will start to promote Port Douglas as a Chinese weddings destination soon.
As a travel agent focused on China, she has 2000 Chinese travel agents on her books.
With her partners in Sydney and China she is planning to run a Chinese wedding in Port Douglas specifically to publicise the destination back in China.
There is a big appetite in China for western style weddings. Traditional weddings in China are lengthy and complicated, according to Ms Mo.
Many of the younger generation want something more casual.
“Port Douglas is a great destination for these people. We want to concentrate on the high end of the market.”
Fullshare, the owners of the Sheraton Mirage, still have plans to build a new convention centre. This type of business, from established markets ticks over steadily. This week a US IT company brought 200 people on a four-night stay.
Chinese couples from a wide range of ages renewed their vows at the Sheraton Grande Mirage in Port Douglas this week
Cairns travel consultant Kavrine Mo