According to the estimates of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Chinese tourists have become the main big spenders internationally, following the considerable increase in Chinese travel abroad and the expansion of the middle class. These data should spark the interest of all tour operators and for all those working in the tourism sector as it is an important part of the whole world tourism.
Why do Chinese people like traveling abroad so much ?
Chinese travelers are no longer only going abroad just to shop and buy luxury items. With the growth and the rise of income in the chinese middle class, chinese residents are becoming international tourists, added to that, it is also important to note that the reasons why they travel overseas are also evolving.
5 surprising reasons why chinese citizens travel abroad :
- Getting a driver’s licence in Korea : Cheaper, quicker, and easier, these are the three main reasons as to why many chinese people choose to head to South Korea to obtain their driver’s license.
- Gay couples marrying in the United States
- Attending world-class marathons : The number of Chinese tourists attending IAAF Gold Label marathons has quickly increased the past few years, with many chinese citizens attending IAAF-awarded marathons in major cities such as New York City, Boston, London, Tokyo, and the Gold Coast.
- Fertility treatments
- Plastic surgery : In the past few years there has been a consequent increase in plastic surgery-related tourism in China, the main destination of interest being South Korea
Chinese tourists, destinations and hotel : a quick overview
What are the top reasons for Chinese outbound travelers to visit your hotel? aka what are their criterias when chosing a hotel.
- Homestays provide a more authentic travel experience : The increasing popularity of rooms and apartment rental platforms such as Airbnb and Xiaozhu in China have transformed the landscape of online booking accommodation. 53% of China’s generation tourists born after the 1990’s prefer homestays, inns, and guesthouses over hotels because of their interest and willingness to immerse themselves into authentic experiences.
- Value the security of staying with a recognisable hotel brand : Many chinese tourists choose to stay at international hotel chains because of their universal standards and reliability. International hotel chains hold a quality of service usually replicated by all of their hotels worldwide.
- KOLs are key : Marketing your accommodation brand through the use of chinese travel KOLs is a great way to increase your visibility on chinese premier travel review platforms. China’s most popular KOLs have built incredible fanbases amounting to millions of followers through their credibility and professionalism in providing top-quality and trustworthy travel recommendations and infos.
How can you cater to these demands while also promoting your hotel in China
With more than 70% of chinese citizens booking their hotel online, now more than ever, it is crucial to know how to market your hotel towards chinese tourists effectively with the right online marketing tools.
It is vital to have a website in chinese to attract chinese consumers. A chinese website with the right keywords will allow you rank higher on Baidu search engine which is China’s most used search engine. In addition, your website should also incorporated an easy online payment setup because chinese tourists are very much used to this payment system.
Baidu is China’s largest search engine holding over 70% of the chinese market share. The search engine accounts for 4 million searches per minute which is more than Google displays, Google sits at around 3 million searches a minute.
What are the best ways of marketing your hotel in China ?
How to make your hotel more attractive to Chinese outbound travelers
Tips for attracting Chinese tourists
Tourism marketing strategy through Social Media : Just like with any other type of marketing, the use of social media is the main strategy for most chinese companies because it enables businesses to be viewed as less intrusive and it gives a more personalized feel for the consumer. Moreover social media encourages their users to share posts and pictures which helps in spreading of word of mouth, another fom of advertisement.
Tourism marketing strategy through specific content : Simply translating your website to Mandarin will simply not be efficient at all, and as you might’ve guessed doesn’t mean you are marketing to chinese travelers. Usually chinese tourists have different tastes as to what they like and dislike compared to western tourists. Another importaant thing is to try to make sure your hotel’s website’s design and wording match chinese preferences.
Tourism Marketing Strategy and Chinese Holidays : Chinese citizens do not have the same holiday periods as Westerners. They have many number of public holidays scattered throughout the year but there are two main holidays that every should try to use to attract clients, those are the Chinese New Year and National Day.
Which social media platform should we use to promote your hotel in China
The social media platforms mentionned below are some of the most useful way to advertise your hotel and created and develop your hotel’s presence and reputation.
Weibo : Weibo is basically an open social media platform (more than Wechat) where people not only post, share and interact but also get updated on trends and news. This is the place for content to go viral and for KOLs to build their online communities.
WeChat : The app started as an instant messaging app but now has developed an ecosystem where users can perform a wide variety of activities such as making transactions, ordering food, booking movie tickets, calling a taxi, playing games… The more users commit to Wechat and longer time they spend on the app, the greater marketing opportunities it offers.
Ctrip : Ctrip is the leading Chinese OTA (Online Travel Agency) and an excellent tool to promote your services, hôtels, restaurants, mall etc to Chinese travelers. It exists since 1999 and has never ceased to evolve to help chinese tourists planning their trip from A to Z. The platforms use a data strategy based on geo-targeting technique to help visitors discovering services and services providers. Which means that from the moment someone booked on Ctrip, he is targeted and will start to be shown content related to its destination every time he goes on the platform.
Online Travel Agencies and their role with chinese tourists
Chinese tourists usually book their hotel rooms through OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies) or through the hotel’s official website. One of the most popular online booking websites in China is Ctrip, the leader in the industry. Ctrip provides all types of services from booking flight tickets, hotels, packages, to useful content about destinations and even reviews about hotels.
HOTEL IS AN EXPERIENCE
Chinese tourists are not satisfied with the most famous destinations and have different habits from the typical European tourist.
Hoteliers who aim to intercept this target should prepare special packages, ie authentic experiences dedicated to Italian excellences (cultural, gastronomic and high fashion), and guarantee a top level of their services.
The packages should be much more elaborate than the classic living room + wellness
The ideal proposal for the Chinese tourists should also include territorial experiences outside the structure, such as visits to excellent companies in the artisanal, food & wine or fashion, to understand each other. The possibilities are endless, just a little bit of will and inventiveness.
HOTEL MARKETING STRATEGY
The Hotel marketing for Chinese tourism is a new discipline, necessary to attract Chinese tourists, now the most desired customers from companies around the world, hotels and tourist facilities. Through a digital presence, even hotels now have the opportunity to intercept the target of Chinese tourists.
Here are 7 Hotel marketing tips to keep in mind to promote your hotel or accommodation.
HAVE A WEBSITE IN CHINESE
The first step to having the presence in China and allowing potential tourists to learn about their structure, is to create a website in Chinese. The truth however is that most of the Chinese are not able to speak English, so it is essential to provide the information of your hotels and services in Chinese.
It is therefore essential to provide relevant content and your website should provide information on what Chinese travelers want to know.
The information on the site, however, should not only concern yourself but you must include information about the city where the structure is located and what the surrounding area can offer to the Chinese tourist, who often has never even heard of the zone
OFFER A GOOD EXPERIENCE OF NAVIGATION TO THE CHINESE USER
An effective strategy is to allow Chinese users to navigate the site correctly, even from mobile devices, as most travelers now surf on their mobile phones.
BEING PRESENT AND WELL INDICATED ABOUT BAIDU
Chinese travelers are constantly connected via the internet in search of all kinds of information, so the knowledge of your brand depends on its traceability on Baidu. If you do not have a presence on Chinese search engines, your potential customers are not able to find you unless they navigate the most important tourist sites.
BEING PRESENT ON THE MOST IMPORTANT TOURIST SITES
Chinese tourists, such as Europeans and Americans alike, before leaving and making reservations, inquire about a series of sites, reading the comments of other users, about hotels and destinations. It is therefore good to work on your presence on these four very important tourist portals.
The first is Ctrip, it is a complete travel site that provides the possibility to book hotels, flights, tourist packages, and other travel services. Ctrip also provides travel services abroad for Chinese and tourists from all over the world present in China. It is a large company on the market since 1999. You can book most of the hotels in the Chinese cities on this site. Ctrip has more than 12 thousand employees across China.
Second travel site is Elong. Elong is a professional website for booking hotels and flights in China. You can find thousands of hotels on this site, from luxury hotels to cheaper hotels. Elong has become one of the largest hotel reservation providers in China.
The third is Qunar ,perhaps the most popular travel site for those who want to book discounted flights and hotels. This typically provides the lowest discount compared to other websites.
The fourth is Lvmama.com . This portal is very popular among those who want to travel alone. There are tons of travel tips for individuals, both to move around in China and other parts of the world
INTEGRATE YOUR OWN WEBSITE WITH A STRATEGY ON CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA
As already mentioned, before choosing their destination and organizing their travels, Chinese tourists invest a lot of time searching for information via the Internet. During this process, brands can offer relevant and interesting content, even through social media. Companies must include social media platforms on their marketing strategies. Chinese tourists through social networks are looking for opinions and information on the products and services you offer. Creating accounts on social networks such as Weibo, Renren or Wechat are mandatory steps to address Chinese travelers.
BEING PART OF THE CONVERSATION
There are many conversations about travel and internet destinations through microblogging sites, forums,
Weibo is a very popular platform in China, which is a mix between Twitter and Facebook. In recent years, Weibo has become a powerful means of communicating and influencing the Chinese. Through Weibo, brands have the opportunity to get to know Chinese travelers, their habits, interests and behaviors. This information is very useful for calibrating the strategy.
On the other hand, WeChat is the most popular social network and almost all Chinese have a WeChat profile, so it is a powerful tool to reach a vast number of travelers. Through WeChat, brands have the opportunity to offer personalized treatment for tourists and involve them.
STARTING RELATIONS WITH THE CHINESE OPINION LEADERS
Gentlemen Marketing Agency is an agency specialized in digital marketing. Contact us for more information or to share your ideas, we can build it together!