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Whisky lessons for Chinese hospitality industry

Hospitality workers in China are being taught the tricks of the whisky trade as popularity of the drink soars in Asia. Picture: Getty

Hospitality workers in China are being taught the tricks of the whisky trade as popularity of the drink soars in Asia. Picture: Getty

Bar and restaurant staff in China are being trained in the art of serving whisky as the drink enjoys soaring sales in Asia.

Exports to the world’s second largest economy totalled £71.5 million last year and the industry is keen to capitalise on its popularity by rolling out a Whisky Ambassador programme to five cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

Delivered in Mandarin, hospitality workers will learn about the value and pricing of whisky, how to spot a fake bottle and receive tips on making conversation about whisky with customers.

The programme is being delivered by marketing and distribution firm the Mackenzie Group.

The company said the growth in Chinese demand for whisky has coincided with the rise of the wealthy middle class there.

Whisky is the second highest imported spirit after Cognac.

Jo Graham, from the Whisky Ambassador, said: “Scotch is seen as a drink for successful people, with some using it and other premium spirit brands to flaunt their wealth, for business entertainment and relationship building.

“China has a wealth of discerning drinkers with a fascination for Scotch, and our programme will help them learn more about the best Scotland has to offer while helping the hospitality sector and the whisky industry to benefit from greater sales in this key market.”

The programme was launched last year and has been taught at Donald Trump’s golf resort in Aberdeenshire and Glasgow’s Radisson Blu hotel.

Accredited by the British Institute of Innkeepers Awarding Body (BIIAB), the course has previously been rolled out to Lithuania.

 

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