Chinese tourism has definitely exploded over the years. China is the first source of income for global tourism. According to Statista, in 2019 the Chinese alone spent more than US$ 254.6 billion while traveling abroad. These estimates will continue to grow, thanks to a noticeable increase in the middle-class population with greater financial resources.
Chinese tourists in 2019
As personal disposable income increases year by year, Chinese people tend to spend more on traveling. The demand for China outbound tourism grows continuously. It is expected that the number of China outbound trips will reach 178.4 million with a total tourism expenditure of about CNY 1.2727 trillion by 2022.
On average, in 2019, every Chinese tourist spent about CNY 7,000 when they visit other countries, which was 2 times what they spent in China.
The Top China Outbound Tourism Destinations in 2019 were Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Cambodia, and Macau.
Considering these data, it will be necessary, for the hospitality industry, to know the methods to attract over 100 million Chinese tourists. Above all, in order to monetize this trend, the use of a digital marketing strategy will be essential.
Tips to Attract Chinese Tourists
SEO(Search Engine Optimization) on Baidu
The first step is to appear among the first results of Baidu, the most famous search engine in China. Baidu has 70% of queries. It is structured like an ecosystem (Baidu Search, Baidu Promotion, Baidu Video, Baidu Maps, Baidupedia) It has more than one billion mobile active users.
To be effective, a website must be host in China or Hong Kong, must be translated in Chinese, with an eccentric layout and with plenty of information.
Through SEO, the probability of having reservations will become significantly greater.
A website with a Seo structure is indexed in the highest positions. Usually, a user clicks on the first five presented answers. A good Seo campaign can help to be arranged in a successful way on the internet. For a good Seo strategy it is necessary to identify the sector and the target, the more effective keywords (avoiding the forbidden ones), and to know the competition
Work on your Reputation Online
Online reputation is vital as Chinese users are very affected by comments and reviews when it comes to making choices. They don’t easily trust new brands.
In China, E-reputation is the key to success. PR is a good way to build your credibility. Not only because you are having experts talking about you, but also for backlinks from authority websites. It gives you more visibility and a better conversion rate.
It is, therefore, important to have a positive view of your structure through good online feedback.
A strong presence on Chinese Social Media to communicate with your clients
Chinese population and social media have a strong relationship. In this country, the word of mouth is a must for greater visibility, because the Chinese trust their social circle and are very influenced by other recommendations, experiences, and opinions. This is why 634 million Chinese users are a great advertising opportunity for your business, especially when it comes to Weibo and WeChat.
- Weibo is similar to Twitter, where the 500 million users share all kinds of content, deciding what is in and what is out. It is a very ‘open’ social network and is therefore very effective for marketers. It offers many services: from traditional social activities, to create micro-blog, send messages, follow brands, Kols and trends, live streaming, gaming activities. It is a one to many platforms. On Weibo you can have more followers and faster but on Wechat you have more impact on call to action, so you should learn to use them at the same time. Weibo helps to increase brand awareness, to ensure great visibility for events and promotions through ad-hoc communication with user-friendly content, and to lead to word of mouth.
- Wechat is a multi-purpose messaging, social media, and mobile payment app. A useful way to stay close to your customers who will gain exclusive content and discounts. They will bring a greater turnout to the brand sharing your content. WeChat has many functions. One of these is WeChat CRM. It is a great tool to communicate with your followers/customers and can be used as a replacement for a newsletter. Remember, email marketing does not work in China, peoples don’t read emails. With a well set Wechat CRM, answer automatically any questions your followers may have, to welcome new ones, offers special discounts etc.
The WeChat account of My Next Memory, one of Gma clients
Prepare an authentic and rich content
Using the right images and creating interesting content is a crucial step. You must choose style images and represent the culture. The same applies to contents, articles, and stories which should convey passion.
Chinese customers are not very patient in digital and are very selective, if they don’t like something they move on. If you have well-contained and interesting content available, on the one hand, you attract new customers on the other you can bring them with a call to action up to the purchase and to be loyal to your brand (which is sometimes complicated because Chinese consumers are not very loyal, if they find better they change quickly).
You can optimize your content with many interesting tools: interactive experiences, storytelling, and even the use of famous people to improve the reputation of the brand. In short, don’t be boring. The Chinese are very digitized, they really like interacting with technology. Using it to tell who you are, what you do is very important to be able to involve them. Storytelling becomes fundamental, building a story centered on the brand. Tell. Engage. Also let your followers play, if that can be in line with your target.
Kols are a great asset for the tourism business
Nowadays Key Opinion Leaders seems to be the most reliable source for customers. These influencers are the leaders of a large community so it is good that they give a positive comment on your hotel.
An excellent strategy is an interview: you can interview the KOLs and ask them to share their experience and story with the brand’s customers.
Conversely, it is possible to ask KOLs to invent them in your hotels in order to present the brand to their followers and obtain potential new customers and greater visibility. If you are a travel agency and you organize holiday package it is also possible to invite the Kol to do your tours with all the experiences included in order to advertise them.
Collaborate with Chinese travel platforms to be closer to your Chinese clients
Chinese have different platforms than the western world, also for online travel reservations. Instead of booking.com join platforms like CTRIP, QUNAR, and ELONG. It is good to stay close to the local tourist agencies as most Chinese travelers book online through these agencies.
Creating a powerful digital marketing campaign will increase the reputation of your hotel and as a result, the tourist agency will be more likely to sponsor you.
These are just the main bases, but if you want a digital marketing attack plan contact us.
We are a marketing company that is already helping more than 300 tourism players to communicate in the Chinese market, we could advise you with our expertise.
The Gentleman agency is a reputable marketing agency based in Shanghai, specialized in the creation of digital strategies for China’s market. Visit our website for more information