Coast prepares for celebration

Apollo Bay resident Sally Cannon has again erected signs in Mandarin to help improve road safety in the town over the Australia Day and Chinese New Year period.

Colac and district’s coastal communities are preparing for Chinese New Year, with an influx of the nation’s tourists expected to visit regional attractions.

Colac and district’s Chinese people and visiting Chinese tourists will recognise Chinese New Year on January 25, and Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce president Bob Knowles said one end of the town’s main drag became an unofficial Chinatown for the weekend.

“It certainly does get busier, certainly we have a little evolving Chinatown at one end of the street that gets very busy and caters to that market,” he said.

“We’ve made no special preparations this year as such, but we are very aware of the importance of it and we are in conversation with a few of the Chinese-speaking people in town to prepare for the next Chinese New Year.

“We’ll be expecting a lot more people and the Chinese restaurants will have a special menu, special celebrations and there could be some fireworks, but no big public display at this stage that I know of.

“One of the things that the Chamber of Commerce and Apollo Bay businesses will be needing to do in the future is get a much better understanding of these visitors and what their needs are and the numbers,” Mr Knowles

“It’s a very specialised market so we need to understand the Chinese visitors’ expectations, and a lot of the Chinese tour arrangements are made before they leave China, there’s little spontaneous decision making, so we need to understand that and how best to capitalise on it.”

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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