Agri-Tourism is the new Chinese trend
Started quietly now about thirty years ago, now the farm is elbowing its way through the various offers of accommodation and hotels for holidays. Because the formula that, in fact, brings together the desire to stay in the middle of nature but in an environment of comfort, food and wine, always one of the farm, and a bit of romance, like more and more.Confirmation arrives from data and statistics: 2018 went well, the farm confirms itself as an expanding sector with a plus 3 percent of new locations, while demand is even more pressing: it reaches +7 percent. The number of Chinese visitors is still increasing, representing 26% of the overall increase in attendance in European farms.
The Chinese middle class is increasingly fond of rural Europe.
China is a very important and emerging tourism market in Europe
but in continuous development. In the ranking of the most visited destinations, we find France, Germany, Russia, Italy and Spain. The main origins are mainly Beijing and Shanghai.
The development of the Chinese economy and the spread of greater well-being in China have favoured a substantial increase in tourism. Almost all of the Chinese tourists traveling in Europe are part of a medium-high social class and wealthy. Incidentally, wealthy tourists in China should be a couple of hundreds of millions, and they are constantly growing.
Various elements are contributing to the growth of Chinese outgoing to the wealth of the rising middle class: cultural change, the less stringent conditions for issuing visas and improving infrastructure airport.
The Chinese prefer to travel during the summer, at the New Year’s Eve Chinese (between January 21st and February 21st) and in conjunction with the main ones national holidays.
The desire for genuineness
The farm market meets the needs of the contemporary Chinese tourist, his desire to know the culture and local traditions, the search for authentic, the desire to rediscover the psycho-physical well-being through contact with nature and life from countryside, the need to live unique and memorable experiences.
Although this is a relatively recent proposal, this type of tourist offer has attracted a large number of interested parties. This success is to be inserted in a broader context of social and cultural changes. Think about how today the desire to detach from city life has become a pervasive element of our lives, many more than it was in the past: everyone talks about it, many Chinese so they are keen on farms, eliminating instead the super luxury hotels (not all of course)
The food and wine tours
Chinese love more and more trips with experiences “food & wine”: according to data from the Food & Wine Tourism Forum, in fact, food and wine within the farms are increasingly appreciated. Chinese tourism is growing, and this is due to the powerful economy of China, started for several years. Chinese tourist can be attracted by the idea of the farm just for the component food; since in China so many food products are of poor quality, without traceability, coming from methods without security. So, focus on healthy consumption can become a factor of success. Chinese tourists are among the most high-spirited according to the Global Blue data, seconds after the Russians.
The signs of the Chinese food and wine growth are different: From a recent Skyscanner survey it emerged that Italian cuisine is preferred by the Chinese, as a Tripadvisor report the Chinese along with the Russians are foreigners who have appreciated more the rural restaurants of Europe . As also highlighted by the latest ENIT 2017 report on incoming tourism from China, Chinese are increasingly interested in discovering less known locations, and therefore this is a great opportunity for the provinces and the more rural areas for their gastronomic and cultural richness. , landscaping, hospitality. In addition, the products exported to China enjoy excellent health despite the sanctions that prevent the sale of some of these: Italian wines for example have seen a +47 in sales in China in 2017 and Italy together with France is one of the first wine exporters in the Middle Kingdom. It is essential to bring the Chinese to discover individual companies, starting digital marketing activities with targeted campaigns on the main Chinese search engine or the local social network.
The winning strategies of Australia and Scotland
For example, the national tourism agency Tourism Australia started a strategic plan in 2013 to promote its country as a food and wine destination; since then, spending on food and drink has increased by 1 billion dollars (+ 25%) and Australia has reached the sixth position in the world ranking of countries characterized by a wide and quality food and wine offer, thus obtaining a better positioning in this market segment.
Moving to Scotland, a country that has recently focused on farm-based tourism to differentiate itself in the tourism market, the spending of chinese tourists has increased by 21% in the two-year period 2017-2018 and the return rate has improved significantly.
Farming initiatives in China
In the last few years, typically farmhouses have started to come to life in China . The experience of Agrilandia Italian Farm is an example concrete: an Italian farm that occupies a lot of thirteen hectares in the village of Baige Zhuang. Agrilandia is a sort of showcase of Italian farmhouse in a country with a growing number of wealthy people and therefore more and more potential tourists. A showcase that stimulates a mechanism of interest at the Chinese market towards Italy, promoting the desire to visit it. The main opportunity that comes from the installation of a farm of European matrix in China, it is precisely to attract the Chinese consumer to try this format within your territory to give birth to his desire to come to Europe in order to live this kind of experience directly.
It is a form to discover this style of vacation and to stimulate tourists Chinese not only to come to Europe staying in large hotels or tourist complexes but to really live the territory by staying in one of the city’s agri-tourism companies.
How to make your farm known in China?
Creating a website
Tourists, like all Chinese consumers, are wary, they need information and reassurance and do a lot of research before finalizing their purchase. On the other hand, taking a trip is an important choice, we need attention in communication. That is why the creation of a site with a Chinese taste, that is well translated into Mandarin and also has a host of their homeland not to be too slow , it’s a way to start off on the right foot.Having a good reputation on different channels is the right way to win their trust and agree on their preference.
Dianping: the Tripadvisor of China
It can count on the support of major investors, including Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Trustbridge Partners. Last year Meituan-Dianping revenues grew to reach a share of RMB 33.9 billion (US $ 5.2 billion), a 161% increase over the previous year. The company recently decided to open up to the market, reaching an initial public offering of 55 billion US dollars on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Defined by many as the Chinese version of Tripadvisor, Groupon, Uber Eats and Yelp, Dianping provides consumers with an online guide that includes information about merchants and reviews of consumers themselves, discounts and promotions on products and services, online reservations for restaurants, hotels, experiences and services of food delivery.
The platform not only offers consumers more than 200 product categories on a daily basis, but also offers a large number of authentic, transparent and detailed content created by the users themselves. It is a well-established habit that a user, after purchasing a service or product, adds a detailed review of the experience accompanied by the evaluation of one to five stars and images, comments and recommendations.
Thanks to the profiling capabilities of users and the creation of targets, based on their position and consumption habits, many international brands have decided to invest in promotional campaigns on this platform. The use of Dianping, as part of a structured intervention strategy on the Chinese market, can be an effective tool for approaching local consumers.
Social media make the difference
WeChat is a free instant messaging application that allows not only the sharing of messages, videos and photos, but also additional services such as payments directly and booking services such as the appointment with the doctor. Like in Whatsapp, even in this application you can send instant messages, locations through GPS, photos and videos.
Wechat has literally written the rulebook on how companies should interact with users on messaging platforms: in the same way that Western marketers build large mailing lists, marketers across China have focused on gaining followers and promote articles via their official WeChat accounts.
Although a part of the public is migrating to other apps and social media, Wechat is still the most complex and dominant on the national digital market.
Weibo is a microblogging platform that has 700 million registered users in the world and is used for the most common social activities: from sharing posts, images, articles, short videos or direct, external links to the search for information, trends and for games.While Twitter has remained substantially the same over the years, Weibo has evolved into a multimedia blogging platform with features that combine Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr: it is strong belief among experts that Chinese millennials will increasingly abandon the text in favor of richer contents. In order to counter the spread of Wechat, it has in fact chosen to create more content partnerships with third parties (large and small media agencies) and introduce more live streaming.
It attracts more Wechat users by collaborating with famous smartphone brands that pre-install the Weibo app on their phones. The strategy allows the company to reach more young users in second and third Chinese cities.
Relying on KOLs
KOLs have become a real strategy for all companies that want to reach consumers. The Chinese society has given space to a culture where the value of the hierarchy is very important, together with the collectivism that leads to sharing and comparison that is well projected into the concept of community.
With this premise, it is natural that influencers and bloggers enjoy a particular authority. The user is overwhelmed by offers, including fake or poor quality products. KOLs are the perfect tool to stimulate trust in the product and introduce new brands to the Chinese market.
There are KOL able to capture the interest of their followers by increasing sales of brands. Often popular characters from Chinese social media or celebrities, or even experts in a specific topic, commentators or bloggers, KOLs create viral content and develop a real community around them.