The Media often introduce China as a confrontational power but often forget to mention the many partnerships it has with other nations around the world.
For instance, China and Brunei have decided to join forces to achieve a common goal:
China Inbound Tourism Landscape
China is a country in constant expansion. Its economy is growing so does its “Soft power”. This term refers to the cultural dimension of a country’s power. Thanks to it, China is increasingly arousing curiosity. This is why tourism is likely to become a key sector in its economy.
Despite the visa restrictions for most nationality, China is in the top 5 of the most visited countries. In order to increase the number of tourists visiting China each year, the government is “relaxing” it’s visa policy. For instance, you can now transit up to 5 days with no visas in some Chinese cities.
Here are some data about tourism in China in 2019 :
Tourism in China is therefore booming. In its quest for notoriety, the country has established an alliance with a smaller neighbouring country, Brunei (among others). Brunei is a wonderful country with beautiful beaches but suffers from lack of interests. One of the reasons being that Brunei has not spent so much on promoting tourism and what it has to offer to tourists. But hopefully it is about to change. This partnership with China is a wonderful opportunities. Why?
Because This partnership will bring more visibility to Brunei. This would have for consequences to instigate the Interest of the more and more numerous Chinese independent travelers looking for adventure and unknown.
The partnership will also ease the visa process for Chinese travelers.
South-east Asia is a popular destination among Chinese younger generations, and there is no doubt that the promotion of Brunei by the Chinese government will lead many to choose this destination for vacations.
Professionals of tourism better be ready to receive this tourism (we will se how a bit later, do not leave us yet 😉 ) .
Tourism in Brunei: A market to develop
Do you know this beautiful country?
Brunei is a small country in East Asia. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is at the head of the country. It has so many majestic monuments, here you can find: Guides & Tips 11 Fantastic Reasons to Visit Brunei.
Brunei has some great advantages for an Asian country :
- Cleanliness of the street
- Welcomeness of the inhabitants
- Great cultural background
- Beautiful and various landscape
- Cheap life
So why does Brunei suffer from such a lack of tourists?
The country wins by being known but is not known enough. It is sorely lacking in notoriety.
China could then give it a place on the international stage.
Brunei – China partnership
The number of Chinese tourists traveling to Brunei increased by 21.1% last year and it is not expected to stop there.
January 17, 2020 is the launch date of the project.
In order to achieve the objective, a new airline will be created.
Royal Brunei Airlines will be the major link between both countries. A direct line will connect the countries, and then, allowing easy access.
The airline company will open the country for Chinese tourists. But that’s not all, it will give it a great opportunity to open up to the world and thus make itself known.
A golden opportunity is at your fingertips!
How to seize this opportunity?
Whether you are a tour operator or a hotel, If you want to conquer the Chinese market you have to Think digital. Several techniques are to be implemented to your digital strategy in order to increase your visibility, and thus to impose yourself on the Chinese market.
A new digital marketing strategy
In order to assert yourself in the Chinese market, a brand new digital strategy is to be considered.
Several factors have to be taken into account:
– Your visibility
– Your E-reputation
I- Your visibility
If the Chinese market is ideal terrain for a tourism agency, a keen knowledge of how it works is required. Visibility is the first thing to review.
You may have the best trips to offer, at the best price, if no one knows about it, you will have very few customers.
There are several you can use in order to be seen by your potential customers.
WeChat is the first application to master. With its billion users and its multiple functionalities, the application will make your agency visible. That is to say, WeChat allows you to deliver a message to a targeted and large audience.
What are Incredibly cost-efficient Wechat solutions for tourism?
- Wechat groups: create Wechat group to share interesting and useful information about Brunei and your services. Spark interest for Brunei attraction, food, specialties etc. Invite travel bloggers and professional of tourism in those groups. They will create interaction and engagement.
- Wechat H5 brochure: A brochure with all the information about your tour, hotel, services in Brunei that you can easily share of Wechat. It is convenient and Chinese consumers love convenience.
If you have more budget go for Wechat official account as well. Create an official account where you promote your services and the country. Establish a CRM to communicate with your followers and make it easy to book your services, ask questions etc…
If one were to define what KOL (Key Opinion Leader) is, it would seem that they are followed by a very large number of people, constituting their “community”. The KOL thus has a consequent power of influence over all these people. (Aka Influencers)
This is where you come in, these influencers can give you the benefit of their influence:
- By using your services
- Speaking of your services
- By appearing on one of your sites, advertising, etc…
There are different types of influencers, from the megastars to the micro-influencers. You do not need to go for superstars. They are usually very expensive and lazier than more modest Kols that are working really hard to get famous.
Don’t underestimate them, especially in China, where clients are risk-averse, they need to have confidence.
Do not hesitate to check this article to understand more in details who are they and how it is working : China’s hottest KOL “Ziqi Li” , she wants to export Culture
There are many forums concerning tourism. This allows users to exchange their past experiences and others to have information from the customer’s point of view.
I assume you know TripAdvisor ?
This is precisely the forum that Chinese customers do not use.
TripAdvisor’s Chinese twins are Manfengwo and Qyer.
Didn’t you know them? You should!
Manfengwo and Qyer
The Chinese population is getting richer and thus, traveling more and more. This is why travel forums are taking an important place in the process. Chinese customers are difficult to convince, they need to trust.
That’s why Qyer is also appreciated. Travelers describe their adventure in detail: the places they visited, where they slept, what they ate, etc …
These sites could be a real springboard! You just have to know how to use them.
This article will help you to learn more about how to manage the two Chinese platforms for tourism: MaFengWo and Qyer : Guide To The Most Popular Social Media Platforms For Tourism: MaFengWo And Qyer
II- E-reputation and content
If visibility is the first factor to be improved, content is also paramount. Indeed, if you have a good visibility but your message is not adapted your customers will not retain it.
First of all, you have to get to know your customers. Understand their needs, and thus their expectations. Then you can move on to the second step, which is to grab their attention to your business and your services.
Next, you’ll need to create a strong brand image that inspires confidence. Again, the nature of the message you will deliver is important. Prudence must be taken to ensure that the image you send out is attractive to Chinese consumers.
A complex Chinese website to build, yet it is necessary. A new website would allow your agency to be considered by the Chinese as a recognized brand.
For obvious reasons, your website has to be in Chinese mandarin and hosted in China, Hong-Kong or Singapore. Just translating your website into Chinese won’t do the trick.
The design must be beautiful and extremely well optimized for mobile.
Make sure you have all your contact info well displayed (Wechat, Phone number, address, mail.. (well to be honest, no one will email you). Actually, if you have the possibility, integrate a live chat. It is definitely going to give you some extra points.
A page that makes it easy to book and compare your different options.
Now that you have a website, you need to have it rank. Let see how this works
Baidu is the first Chinese search engine, the group has 80% of the market share. Baidu therefore represents a considerable opportunity. Now, Baidu is all in Chinese and does not integrate hundreds of languages like google does.
For this reason, the keyword algorithm of Baidu is extremely precise but also English website have hard time to rank.
I was saying just above that your website needs to be hosted in China, and the reason is really simple. A website that is not registered in China, don’t rank well either. So what would help me rank my website you’ll ask me?
- Chinese language
- Hosted in China or around
- regular original quality content
- Authority (Backlink and PR will help)
To sump up on the China-Brunei Tourism Partnership:
Brunei has all to win in this partnership and by that, I mean Professional of tourism and all activities that touch Tourism (Restauration, shop, taxi etc). Because China will promote the country heavily, professionals of tourism will have only one work: promote their services and products. They won’t have to struggle with the weight of having to introduce the country as well as stand out from their competitors.
Gentlemen Marketing agency has worked with many tourism agencies around these techniques.
To learn more about the measures to take and possible risks, you can read the following article: In China, why “Content” should be the center of your Marketing Strategy?
You can contact us for an expert opinion. Our team is ready to give tips, and advice in order to help you to impose your company on the Chinese market.