With its international customer base shut out of the country, travel agency Mr Kangaroo has built a new customer base among Mandarin-speaking domestic tourists, with the help of a Jobs Victoria wage subsidy.

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Tourism operator Mr Kangaroo had been creating magical Australian experiences for international visitors since 2016.

When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic closed international borders, Mr Kangaroo saw an opportunity to cater to Asian travellers within Australia.

The business used a wage subsidy from the Jobs Victoria Fund to hire a new Mandarin speaking online customer service consultant, Xinqing Liu.

Getting back on track

Owner Alan Liu says Xinqing is a great fit with Mr Kangaroo’s new customers, thanks to her strong Mandarin language skills and friendly manner.

Xinqing’s local knowledge, combined with fluency in Mandarin, means she can work closely with new customers and make sure their travel plans go smoothly.

Xinqing’s position through is supported by a Jobs Victoria wage subsidy for a year, through to April 2022, helping the business adapt and adjust to the changing tourism environment.

The road to recovery

Mr Kangaroo, like other Australian travel businesses, has been challenged by the pandemic and changes to international travel.

Alan says turnover has recently recovered by 20 to 30 per cent, with the business now able to cover costs again, as local lockdowns have lifted and domestic tourism has picked up.

“Australia is safe now and everybody feels safe to go out,” Alan says.

Looking ahead, Alan is optimistic about the future.

Find out more about the Jobs Victoria Fund.