Last year, the South China Sea island documented only two symptomatic COVID-19 cases. The number of cases has risen dramatically this month, triggering a lockdown in Sanya and stranding tens of thousands of tourists.
As many as 80,000 tourists were enjoying the island’s beaches at peak season, Sanya declared a lockdown and restricted transportation to try to stem the epidemic. Even if they don’t leave until Saturday, many people are now staying in motels until then. The more you read, the better.
We are all staying in a four-star hotel paid for by Yang, her husband, and their little child. To save money, everyone in the household eats pot noodles every day.
Yang, a 40-year-old woman from Jiangxi province in southern China, told Reuters on Sunday that the holiday was the worst she had ever experienced.
Between August 1 and August 7, Sanya recorded 689 cases of symptoms and 282 occurrences of no symptoms. Danzhou, Dongfang, Lingshui, and Lingao, all cities in Hainan province, have recorded more than a dozen incidents in the same time period.
More than 80% of flights to and from Sanya were canceled on Saturday, state television CCTV claimed, citing the national operator, according to data source Variflight.
After China stopped issuing tourist visas and enacted stringent quarantine rules in reaction to the pandemic, Hainan was off-limits to international visitors for over two and a half years.
The municipality of Sanya said on Saturday that hotel rooms for visitors whose flights have been canceled would be available at a 50 percent discount.
However, on Sunday, scores of travelers complained in WeChat groups that their hotels were ignoring this policy and charging them charges close to the original ones. Reuters was contacted by two lost travelers who described their predicament.
One of the visitors, a woman from the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu who only supplied her surname, Zhou, said, “We are now looking for ways to complain and defend our rights, but so far no official entity has contacted us or taken any interest in us.”
After the chaotic lockdown in Shanghai damaged Beijing’s narrative that it was better prepared to handle the epidemic than other countries like the United States, which has recorded over a million COVID deaths, the outbreak in Hainan is the latest challenge to China’s zero-COVID policy.
The tourism business on Hainan has survived the pandemic largely thanks to domestic visitors, but the sudden lockdown may drive away some visitors for forever.
Zhou, who was on vacation with six other family members, declared, “In short, we will never return back!”
A group of stranded tourists in Sanya have been given permission to depart the island as of next Saturday, providing they have completed five COVID tests and had negative results for all of them.
China’s Covid Stance Has Created a $280 Billion Black Hole for Global Tourism
To this day, China’s borders remain effectively sealed as the country maintains its policy of zero tolerance for a virus that is widely recognized as widespread elsewhere. With aircraft restrictions and hotel quarantines lasting weeks, overseas travel is nearly impossible for the country’s 1.4 billion residents. China’s vigorous response to outbreaks of Covid-related fear also plays a role.
That’s a major issue for the most popular travel destinations in the world. According to statistics compiled by the UN’s World Tourism Organization, Chinese tourists shelled out $277 billion abroad in 2018, and are expected to spend another $255 billion this year. Their spending dropped to $130.5 billion as the virus emerged in 2020, with the first instances in Wuhan, in central China. This is because most of their spending would have occurred in the months before to March, when much of the world went into lockdown.
Currently, income is a small percentage of that level. In the nine months leading up to September of 2018, the UNWTO found that Chinese visitor expenditure had dropped by 61% from the 2019 level.
Borders will be open one day… So it’s time to start your marketing promotion in China.
Adapt the Chinese tourists’ mindset and needs.
Language is vital for the receipt of information by all individuals. Given that just 25 percent of the Chinese population speaks English, it is reasonable to assume that people will select companies/services they can comprehend. Mandarin is the predominant language, and speakers will seek out locations and services in Mandarin. For instance, they will prefer a hotel where they will be understood or a service that does not require English proficiency.
Baidu is the Chinese Google, accounting for 82% of the local search engine market share. Therefore, it is crucial to have excellent SEO on Baidu if Chinese people are searching for the type of service you provide.
Possessing a website in both English and Mandarin is advantageous for your initial interaction with potential Chinese customers. The use of keywords and an effective SOE on Baidu will increase your chances of appearing in the top search results, but there is another option to reach the top of the rankings: a website hosted in China. If your Chinese website is hosted in China or a neighboring nation, your SOE will be superior. Your website will load more quickly if it is hosted in Singapore or Hong Kong. Additionally, a.cn domain is chosen by Baidu.
Your presence on Chinese forums is, of course, essential, especially if you want to attract Chinese consumers. Chinese people rely a lot on comments and reviews before buying or booking anything. They also have the habit to regularly leave a comment to the products they just bought or tested and it goes the same for experiences and travels. That is why having a clean and positive e-reputation on these Chinese forums will help you to attract more customers. Don’t forget that Chinese OTA also offers a forum section and your reputation on classic forum platforms as Douban or Zhihu (that are one of the most consulted forums in China) will influence the decision of potential customers.
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