Finding out what Chinese tourists really want in order to delight them is vital for creating a successful tourism marketing strategy. Without knowing what they want, you will be blindly marketing to myths & stereotypes that might not correspond with the truth.
Who are the new Chinese tourists?
The Chinese tourists represent a part of the higher middle class and the upper class, over 18% of the Chinese population, or 250 million Chinese. They are on average 34 years old and usually prepare their trip to a Chinese travel agency.
A distinctive characteristic of the new Chinese tourist is that they are independent travelers. They were 220 million in 2018 to have traveled the world. We can easily observe some new travel trends, concerning their touristic tastes and behaviors
Chinese people have recently begun traveling abroad in the last two decades as their economy grew and disposable incomes increased. In the past, the Chinese favorite destinations were South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand, but now Europe attracts them the most with 24.6% of the market shares for France, 15.6% for Germany, 9.2% for Switzerland and 8.7% for Spain.
Some non-EU nations such as Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, have benefited from implementing visa-free stays for Chinese tourists over the last year, though neither country introduced the measures until spring 2018.
In general, they just speak Mandarin or Cantonese, not even English. So, this may require additional service in your travel agency to better reach them. The Chinese tourists are hyperconnected, they share their photos on social media, use the Internet to locate themselves and find good places.
Tips For Delighting Chinese Tourists
To better reach and attract the new Chinese tourists to your travel busines, here what you must do:
- Create a Chinese version of your website
- Include mobile payment (AliPay, WeChat Pay…)
- Be on top of Baidu research
- Present on Chinese Social Media
Search Engine Marketing: Baidu is the King
The SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) process is completely different in China, you need to adopt alternative techniques when compared to western search engines like Google. If you do not have a presence on Chinese search engines, Chinese tourists simply will barely know who you are and may not trust your company. Being present on China’s largest search engine Baidu is extremely important for every successful digital marketing strategy. Chinese tourists.
Baidu offers a wide variety of advertising options for businesses in China. However, Advertising on Baidu a great deal of information, in order to keep in line with Chinese government regulations, making the process quite unfriendly for foreign businesses.
Online Travel Agencies (OTA)
The most popular names in the OTA industry in China for 2019 are Ctrip, CNCN.com, Alitrip (Fliggy), Long, Lvmama, LY.com, Qunar.com, and Tuniu. It is vital that you allow your hotel/service to access their online booking features. Make sure there is also a booking feature on your own website too.
Travel agents are still the most used mode of booking holidays for Chinese tourists, even FITs mostly book through online travel agencies. Collaborating with OTA’s is vital for travel agencies to sell destination, activity or hotel.
Chinese Social Media: Don’t neglect these powerful Platforms
You should know that Western social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) are blocked in China. Social media is the best weapon for most companies to reach a large number of customers. Chinese social media encourages sharing posts or pictures with friends thus aiding the spread of word of mouth advertisement.
Creating a strong marketing strategy on Chinese social media platforms( Wechat, Weibo, ..) will benefit your travel agency. It’s one thing to having a presence online! another thing is to be available to user comments and posts, helping your audience when they need you. By interacting with Chinese customers, you will make good impressions with potential customers. It makes them feel like you value their opinions and care about them.
Chinese Payment Systems
Every country has different payment habits and currencies. China’s recent technological evolution has greatly impacted local consumer behavior.
Chinese tourists do not use Western credit cards and don’t like carrying large sums of cash. It’s important to think about how you can set up a system that accepts Alipay, WeChat Wallet and China UnionPay will definitely make the process worth it. By offering an easier way to accept payments, you can win the Chinese market.
If you’re looking to target this unique and fragmented market be sure to stay up on the latest travel trends in China.
We are here to help you! So who are we?
GENTLEMEN MARKETING AGENCY has the solution for you! We offer various digital marketing solutions (SEO, Social Media, E-Reputation, Forums, PR,…) to promote your business to Chinese travelers. This solution allows you to precisely target these travelers at the destinations you want. Thanks to GMA, these travelers can visit your restaurants, hotels, museums, tour operators, cruise,…, during their trip and directly book an activity in your establishment from their home! And this works for all kind of companies in the tourism industry:
GENTLEMEN MARKETING AGENCY is a China Digital Marketing Agency dedicated to providing digital and efficient solutions to western businesses around the world! Our international team of professionals will take seriously your business and determine the optimal way of promoting your business in China, so be sure to contact us!