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Social media are critical for attracting Chinese tourists

In 2014, there were 634 million netizens in China, which means almost half of the world’s netizens. In addition, 70% of the holiday booking were made online. How do Chinese holidaymakers plan their holidays? How do they find information? How do they share their experience with their friends? The vast majority use only one media for this : Social Media. Wechat, Weibo, specialised tourism platforms like Tuniu you name it. They often like to share their experience in almost real time. Let’s have a better understanding at how Chinese tourists use social networks

Chinese tourists spend 8hours per week on social networks

Before the trip

Chinese people were 100 million  to travel in 2014. More are expected to travel in 2015 and forecasts made by the CTA (Chinese National Tourism Agency) put at 200 million Chinese tourists going overseas by 2020.


Chinese tourists will first look for information on specialised tourism platforms like Tuniu to find the country theyr would like to go to. Following this they will go on OTA to do their booking

Ctrip.com is the leader of the OTAs (online travel agencies) with a whopping 50% market share. Before booking a trip, Chinese people will always look for information. They like to discuss with their friends about trips to get direct advices from them. For that, they use the two flagship social networks of the Tencent group: QQ and WeChat. QQ is a social media and WeChat is a messaging application, which also includes a news feed.

There are people called the KOL, key opinion leader, who are people present a lot on the Social Medias. They give their opinions and ideas a lot. These people are usually followed by a large number of people because of the quality of their intervention. They are reliable people because they share their experiences as they want. They also read the online magazines specialized in tourism. For the videos, they mostly use Youku, a platform that hosts a lot of videos about everything including trips.


During the trip

During their trip, Chinese people like to be connected. They can talk with their friends and family. For that, they use messages applications like WeChat, QZone and QQ. It’s very important for them to have the possibility to keep in touch with their friends and family. They can also share their trip and experiences directly with them. They share also photos and videos of their trips.


After the trip

Because they like to have reviews about trips, it’s natural for them to post some. They post reviews on the Social Medias like Weibo, but also renren.com and douban, the most used Social Medias. Like that they can help their friends or even other people. They share their trips on forums like tuniu.com. Tuniu.com is the biggest forum entirely dedicated to trips. They can post photos, advices, participate to conversations. It’s used in a purpose to help people for their futures travels. Like during their trips, they like to share photos after their trips are done. The photo applications are connected to their Social Medias that allow them to share their photos quickly.

Social media are the perfect channel to send the right message to the right target, Chinese tourist. Video sharing, high quality content, high quality pictures must all be part to your webmarketing strategy to provide the emotional engagement necessary for making Chinese tourists choose your destination, tours or hotels over a competitor’s.

You want to attract more Chinese tourists and have an edge over your competitors? Choose a digital marketing strategy. Contact us for more information!

  •  More about social networks here
  • The Chinese tourism market there

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