Useful Tips to Attract Chinese Tourists (2024)

Are you a hotel? A villa provider? or maybe a shopping mall or foreign luxury brand looking to attract Chinese tourists?

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10 experts tips for 2024 that will help you to attract them, the digital way ….

To attract Chinese tourists in 2024, consider these professional tips with examples:

  1. Website Localization: Tailor your website for the Chinese market. For instance, a Parisian hotel could include Mandarin translations and cultural references relevant to Chinese visitors.
  2. SEO for Chinese Search Engines: Optimize for Baidu, China’s leading search engine. For example, a travel agency in Thailand might use popular Chinese keywords related to Thai destinations.
  3. Utilize Video Content: Share engaging videos on platforms like Douyin to showcase destinations. A resort in Bali could post virtual tours of its facilities.
  4. Leverage Xiaohongshu (Red Book): Post attractive pictures and reviews. A New York City tour company could feature customer experiences and city highlights.
  5. Partner with B2B Platforms: Collaborate with Chinese travel agencies or platforms like Ctrip for package deals. For example, an Singapore park offer special packages through these agencies.
  6. Collaborate with KOLs: Work with Key Opinion Leaders to promote destinations. A ski resort in Canada could invite a popular Chinese travel blogger to visit and share their experience.
  7. Engage in Travel Forums: Participate in forums like Mafengwo to answer queries and provide information. A hotel chain in Europe could provide travel tips and hotel information on these forums.
  8. Targeted Ads on Douyin: Use location and interest-based ads to reach potential tourists. A theme park in California might target families interested in entertainment and travel.
  9. Showcase Safety Measures: Emphasize health and safety protocols. A cruise line could highlight their enhanced cleaning procedures and safety measures in marketing materials.
  10. Communicate on WeChat (not email)

Overview of China’s outbound market in 2024

overview of China’s outbound market in 2024 in 10 concise points:

  1. Recovery Post-COVID-19: The market is rebounding after the pandemic with increased travel.
  2. Rising Middle Class: A growing middle class is driving demand for international travel.
  3. Digital Influence: Online platforms and social media continue to influence travel decisions.
  4. Preference for Luxury Travel: Increased interest in luxury and personalized travel experiences.
  5. Sustainability Concerns: Growing awareness of sustainable and responsible travel.
  6. Health and Safety Priorities: Continued emphasis on health and safety in travel choices.
  7. Diverse Destination Interest: Chinese tourists showing interest in a wider range of destinations.
  8. Increased Spending Power: Higher spending on travel and tourism-related activities.
  9. Technology Integration: Use of technology for planning and experiencing travel.
  10. Cultural Experiences: Seeking authentic and culturally enriching travel experiences.

#1 ACTION , do something

Just like any business, you have to create an overall effective operation plan in order to attract your target customers. The things you will have to include in this operation plan are mainly strategies and contingency plans aimed at resolving any issues that may emerge when operation your hotel or business. Since we are focusing here on Chinese tourists, you should be aware of the fact that your reputation could be built or broken just by not taking care of a “small matter”. Chinese people are very digital-savvy. With more than 660 million internet users in China and about 90% having a social media account, needless to say, they enjoy sharing information and more specifically positive AND negative comments. So don’t forget to build some contingency plans to prepare your business for any Chinese tourist-related situations.

#2 Define specifically your business goals

We talked about the process but before having a road, a travel plan, you should have a goal. It is very important for your business goal to attract Chinese tourists to be SMART.

This means the goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

  • When launching your digital campaign in China what is your main goal?
  • Is it to increase your brand awareness, because few Chinese people know about your brand?
  • Do you want to focus on generating traffic to your website?
  • Or maybe do you want to improve your reputation?

#3 Communicate about the surroundings, the environement, safety

Whether you are Louis Vuitton or Mercure hotel, do not only focus on your brand, property, facilities, products, and services. Chinese tourists just like any tourists are not going to let’s say Miami to stay at a particular hotel or to buy a certain brand (which by the way often has several locations all around the world). What a tourist want in Miami are the palm trees, the weather, enjoy the beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Accor Hotels China website

If you want to communicate efficiently with Chinese tourists on social media you will have to communicate about the experience they could enjoy in your destination. If we take London for example, it would be tourist attractions such as the London Eye or Buckingham Palace. Other services and shopping amenities are additional and a plus for the Chinese tourists, who, as I said earlier like to spend abroad.

#4 Don’t forget about basic tourists issues

You may be tempted to talk on some Chinese social media platforms about some irrelevant issues such as a foreign celebrity being in town or a new book launch but don’t do it. Your business will be better off by posting relevant content related to Chinese tourist’s needs such as leisure activities, weather, Chinese food/restaurant, a Chinese celebrity who already visited your store, hotel, or restaurant for example, and so on.

Huang Lei in New Zealand

Huang Lei and his wife were invited to spend their wedding anniversary in New Zealand by the local Tourism organization. Their trip was shared on social media on Weibo (pictures, videos). Huang lei has over 20 million fans on his Weibo media account resulting in more than 710 000 Chinese social media users engaged in this content.

#5 Provide relevant content

In the same line of the fourth tip, you should only post good quality and relevant content. Your content should be diverse: videos and pictures. Also, do not hesitate to post some content in the beginning and then adapt your content marketing strategy according to your Chinese follower’s feedback. We always say in business that listening is a very important skill which is actually very true in private life as well. Listen and then tailor your digital strategy.

#6 Engage Chinese tourists on Social media

Having followers on WeChat or Weibo is great but now what you have to do is to engage them to create a real flow of interest and potential future customers. Use creative ways such as games, challenges, or Q&A, for example, to push your Chinese followers to interact with you but also with each other.

Tourism businesses should use Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) in China for several compelling reasons:

  1. Massive User Base: Xiaohongshu has a large, active user community, predominantly younger generations who are key decision-makers in travel.
  2. Authentic Reviews and Recommendations: The platform is known for genuine user-generated content, influencing travel decisions.
  3. Visual Appeal: With its focus on high-quality images and videos, it’s ideal for showcasing destinations attractively.
  4. Engagement and Interaction: Allows direct communication with potential tourists, offering insights into their preferences and feedback.
  5. Market Trends Insight: Staying updated on the latest trends in travel preferences and behaviors among Chinese tourists.

For effective usage of Xiaohongshu:

  1. Create Engaging Content: Share visually appealing photos and videos of destinations, emphasizing unique aspects.
  2. Leverage Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with popular users or KOLs on Xiaohongshu to reach a wider audience.
  3. Encourage User Reviews: Motivate visitors to share their experiences and reviews on the platform.
  4. Utilize Hashtags and Trends: Engage with current trends and use relevant hashtags for broader visibility.
  5. Provide Useful Information: Offer practical travel tips and insights, adding value to users’ planning process.

#7 Do some storytelling and have a real brand power

If you really want your brand to gain visibility and to be seen as a must-visit place at your location, you should have a strong brand image. This brand image should be unique and proper to your brand. You can use storytelling by posting videos on Youku and then sharing them on social media for example. You can choose any kind of character as long as it aligns with your corporate values and shows your business as a human corporation.

Video about Accor hotels on Youku 

#8 A Sales talking in Chinese

Speaking about human beings, last research and studies showed that taking care of your employees actually allows you to deliver better products and services. A study done by Shangri-la stated that upselling at the front desk improved hotel reputation by 25%! Needless to say, if you have social media managers who are not fully committed or even trusted, they won’t do the best they could do. Allow your social managers to be autonomous, to work independently while providing them with clear objectives, efficient tools, and the right contacts to reach out for in case of an emergency.

#9 Work with Social media Official account

Before engaging with your followers, or even creating a social media account, you should make sure that your accounts are “official”. If we take WeChat for example, if you don’t have the official account status you can’t have your own company QR code, send push notifications to your followers and in some cases (depending on the type of official account) you can’t create your own app or mini-website on WeChat. Finally, if you own a verified account, Chinese visitors will have more trust in your brand and your reputation will improve.

Example of an official account (Guess on Weibo)

#10 Use Chinese KOLs to promote video content

To attract Chinese tourists, it is important to take into account Chinese social media channels. The technology supports many types of video formats, and studies have shown that videos have an engagement rate twice higher than photos. When it comes to the Chinese market, investing in video content can be done in various ways.

There is a range of popular video apps and platforms that people visit to have fun, such as DouYin (a Chinese version of TikTok), which cumulates more than 600 users each month! Moreover, Douyin allows the content creator to pin down the address of the destination, a feature very much useful for touristic companies looking to increase their visibility. For a brand, one of the fastest ways to increase its visibility is by creating a partnership with a popular KOL account, which already has a consequent following.

Travel Kol on Mafengwo with more than 800 reviews in 12 country and 207 cities

Famous travel KOLs such as 旅游约吗 represent a huge exposure potential, as she has a very consequent following (approximately 4 million),

teaming up with KOLs with this type of popularity to promote your brand can be a very smart move.


#11 Make sure your brand can be found on Chinese Search engines

Having basic information about your brand on Chinese Search Engines is essential. Creating trust and managing your online reputation is a way to ensure that Chinese tourists will choose your brand over your concurrent. Having a translated version of your website in Chinese will also show people that your business welcomes Chinese tourists. Listing your business on popular sites, travel forums and blogs will help your brand name to come up first when people will search for it in Baidu or Sogou.

#12 Collaborate with a local digital marketing partner

If all of this social media strategy planning is too overwhelming (which I can totally understand), don’t hesitate to reach out to a local partner. Chinese tourists have their own characteristics and trends evolve fast. Another issue you may encounter while launching a digital campaign to attract Chinese tourists is the Chinese language. A digital marketing agency located in China will have not only the knowledge of the market but also the personnel to communicate efficiently with your Chinese followers.

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We help companies wishing to sell on the Chinese market. We are specialists in:

E-REPUTATION: Primordial before launching, we work together on your unique selling point, then on the social networks and with the help of PR, we make sure that your image on the networks is totally clean and reliable for the Chinese users.

SEO: The optimization of your referencing will be essential, our team of specialists will take care of your e-reputation, the management of your social networks while setting up an SEO / SEM campaign allowing you to gain places in the ranking of the Baidu Chinese search engine.

LEAD GENERATION: Our teams are professionals in lead generation. To optimize it, your e-reputation must be irreproachable. Investing in online advertising and creating quality content will help you develop your e-reputation. Finally, the evaluation of the results will be important to guide us in the next stages of your development.

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DIGITAL SOLUTIONS: Website creation, development, and audit; social media marketing (including WeChat & Weibo); PR; monthly reports and analyzes by our team of experts.

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    1. Thank you for sharing this information. Chinese Tourists are becoming better, and are really good client (with their spending) I Think Swiss People should respect them more. 😉 or one day they might regret it.

  1. In the first six months of the year, nationals of the world’s second-largest economy made more than 71 million trips abroad.

    In the tourism sector, the Chinese is king. All the host countries are trying to attract him, even if one is happy to make fun of his so-called bad manners, like penniless aristocrats against a new rich man. In the first six months of the year, nationals of the world’s second-largest economy made more than 71 million trips abroad, an increase of 15% over the same period of 2017. This is one of the figures released Wednesday, August 22, in a study by the China Tourism Academy, which depends on the ministries of tourism and culture.

    For its director, Dai Bin, this increase can be explained by the increase in purchasing power of his compatriots. A trend that should continue according to a Morgan Stanley report published in May: in 2030, more than 35% of the population will be considered as belonging to the most privileged layers (upper middle class and beyond) – against 10% in 2015 The annual disposable income is expected to be more than 10,800 dollars (nearly 9,300 euros), twice as much as in 2015 for households living in cities, says the study.

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