Top tips to help you engage with Chinese visitors

28 May 2014

by Cissy Chen, China Marketing Coordinator, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism


Language is always the main problem between Chinese tourists and New Zealand local operators. Although most younger tourists can speak good English, local operators might be confused with their pronunciation or incorrect choice of words. Local operators can use body language or speak slowly when talking to Chinese tourists, otherwise, Google Online Translation can make communication much easier.


Some Chinese tourists feel nervous when they travel to a non-native Mandarin speaking country for the first time. Here's a few tips that can help make Chinese tourists feel more relaxed.

Here are some key English to Chinese translations that can help owners of local restaurants and accommodation.







Credit card accepted




Free Wifi


No vacancy


Credit card surcharge


Simple Chinese greetings you can learn to make your guests feel more welcome.


Ni Hao

Thank you

Shi-e Shi-e

You're welcome

Boo Ker Chi

That’s great

Thai Hao Lah

Hello everyone / Good day everyone

Da Jia Hao


Huan Ying Guang Lin

How are you

Ni Hao Ma

Good bye

Zai Jian

Also, you may like to think of some little gifts you can give away, like candies, magnets, pens. These little gifts are easy to carry during the whole journey, and are also a good way to promote your business to the china market when visitors return home.


Chinese culture is one of the world’s oldest cultures. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in eastern Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between provinces, cities, and even towns.

Here are few key cultural insights for you to consider:

  • Most Chinese people drink hot water and green tea.
  • Chinese will eat cup noodles or stir-fry in the kitchen, so sometimes, the noodle or oil smell will stay in the room. If you are not happy with this, please let them know first, or suggest they open a window after they finish cooking.
  • If you need to charge a credit card surcharge, please tell them before you charge, and if you accept Unionpay, please let them know as well. Chinese tourists will be very happy to pay by Unionpay. If anyone asks where they can find a Unionpay ATM, the answer is BNZ, and the limit is $800 every day.
  • Sometimes "yes" doesn’t mean that Chinese tourists understand you. So if you are confirming anything about payment, policy and other important information, please double confirm, and make sure there's no misunderstanding between you and them.

Customer Service

As the culture is different from eastern to western, not every Chinese tourist can understand the western style jokes, just like not every Kiwi will like the Chinese style jokes. Therefore, try to pick up the simple words or sentences while talking to Chinese tourists, and avoid to use some western style jokes, it might bring some bad effects. Besides that, smile is the key point to clear up any misapprehensions.

Just to finish off, here is some useful information for you to use when dealing with Chinese tourists.

Recommended Chinese restaurants in Christchurch 

老地方 Ancestral

35e Riccarton Road

+64 3 348 8876

卡拉OK, 奶茶,便餐

美食轩 Madam Kwong’s Restaurant

155 Blenheim Road

+64 3 348 3638


统一茶餐厅 Benson Restaurant

113 Riccarton Road

+64 3 366 9833

粤菜,川菜为主,大型购物 Riccarton Mall 旁边

长城 Great Wall Restaurant

35 Riccarton Road, Christchurch

+64 3 348 0588


海上人家 Shanghai Bistro

283 Lincoln Road

+64 3 339 6566


南北小厨 North and South Gourmet

300 Lincoln Road

+64 3 339 8887


花园酒店 Garden Restaurant

110 Marshland Road

+64 3 385 3132


晋商会馆 Shanxi Noodles

283 Lincoln Road

+64 3 423 1976


蓬莱小馆 Joyful Restaurant

102 Riccarton Road

+64 3 341 6883

粤菜,近大型购物广场 Riccarton Mall

乡村莊 Daphne’s Restaurant

398 Riccarton Road

+64 3 348 8988


潮州酒楼 Southern Asian Restaurant

545 Colombo Street

+64 3 377 9298


海鲜酒楼 Lin‘s Restaurant

8-10 Brake St, Upper Riccarton

+64 3 348 9381


Recommended restaurants in Lake Tekapo

翠湖轩 Jade Palace

SH8, Lake Tekapo

+64 3 680 6828


湖畔餐厅 Kohan

SH8, Lake Tekapo

+64 3 680 6688


Shopping centres in Christchurch

Dress Smart 打折村

409 Main South Road

打折村位于 Hornby Mall 对面,打折力度非常大,最高可至1.5折


Re:START Shopping Mall


Riccarton Mall

129 Riccarton Road


Sheepskin and Footwear Factory Shop

12 Symes Road, Sockburn


The Tannery

3 Garlands Road, Woolston



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