Initial impressions are always important and so giving partners a very warm welcome to one’s country and organisation is vital for establishing firm relationships or even friendships. This requires not only an interest in other cultures but also an openness to people from different backgrounds and a willingness to make an effort to approach them.
Case Study Example: Hospitality in China
The British members of the eChina-UK Programme found that their Chinese partners were extremely welcoming when they visited Beijing. Sightseeing trips and shopping expeditions were arranged for them, and they were treated to endless delicious meals and banquets. The hosts went to all lengths to make the British visitors feel at home, and devoted hours of time to try and ensure that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Tip: Reflect on the hospitality you have received on trips abroad and how you felt. How do you think your international partners like to be welcomed in your country? Ask a ‘cultural informant’ and compare and discuss your ideas.