Step 1 Grab the attention of Chinese tourists by using their tools
Chinese tourists average 3 months in advance for planning and research trips. 43% of which are travel, shopping, and fashion websites, and 38% are using brand channels on social media. In order to get this audience, you have to have some kind of presence on WeChat and Weibo, which is an indispensable social media platforms for the Chinese. You can do this through your social media accounts, or through the use of others, using their influence and their friends and fans. Digital space is great for promoting your destinations; showcasing your experience with rich videos or getting support from China vloggers or KOL.
Don’t rely on Chinese Tour Operators
As tempting as it can be, putting your business at the end of a Chinese “partnership” does not end well most times.
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Risks of collaboration with a Chinese tour operator:
- You rely on them & their goodwill
- Hard to negotiate a good commission
- They copy your tour, implement themselves in your destination and you lose shares of the market (see what happened in Morocco)
Welcome Chinese tourists in their native language
You do not need extensive cultural training to make your Chinese guests welcome. It is useful to learn some key phrases in Mandarin and understand frequent requests. If you have fluent Mandarin speakers saying “hello” to your Chinese guests, then that’s all the better.
The bilingual ambassador from Hainan to Las Vegas welcomes visitors and helps guide them. Tourism Tasmania has started recruiting bilingual tour guides at the most popular national parks.
If you have a very small number of Chinese tourists, signage (if used well) and literature can provide a practical and affordable option. When China Southern introduced direct flights from Guangzhou to Adelaide, Adelaide launched a Chinese directional sign.
Make your travel business easy and China friendly
Work to create a destination perfectly suited to Chinese tourists. Over the past several years, Chinese tourism has brought £ 43 million to Scotland. Furthermore, the Edinburgh Travel Action Group provides comprehensive support, advice, and training to help travel companies attract and welcome Chinese tourists.
Work with your service provider to implement some of the entry-level, Chinese-friendly innovations, such as Chinese signage and simplified restaurant translation menus, along with Chinese language services, Alipay, etc.
Chinese Food in Tourism
Chinese restaurants are still appealing to Chinese tourists, but those with other cuisines are more likely to attract a new wave of Chinese gourmet travelers if Chinese information is available. Providing rice as an accompaniment to any gourmet meal will also make the meal feel more familiar for most Chinese tourists.
Public dining is very important to the Chinese and their dining culture places particularly high esteem on the oldest of the party – which may seem counterintuitive if the fluent English speakers are younger. That kind of attention to detail is what leads to positive comments and reviews for the site.
Make payments easy for Chinese tourists
Chinese tourists do not use Western credit cards and do not want to bring a lot of cash so it is important to provide the most popular Chinese payment options: China UnionPay, Alipay, and WeChat wallet. These online payment platforms are ubiquitous in China, with savvy overseas destinations and retailers, including LaFayette Gallerie in Paris or Harrods, and Body Shop in London, reaping early returns.
Adapt to changing trends in China’s tourism industry
This is not just a market that is driven by large group tours anymore. Independent travel is trending upward in the industry. Rising and self-driven, Airbnb and caravanning also see more and more occupancy. China’s millennial generation is a force that cannot be ignored. In particular, this digitized demographic makes their own travel arrangements with increasingly greater confidence.
Make sure your website and destination information are useful to the Chinese – not just direct translations, but the format, design, and wording need to be in line with China’s needs. Destination websites should also be hosted in Hong Kong or mainland China for a better user experience (faster loading). Keep in mind that Google is banned in China so if your site includes the functionality of Google Maps it will not be easy to upload in China.
Experiential travel is opening up for Chinese tourists, who seek products and experiences based on their novelty and WOW factor for social media.
What true traditional experiences and products can you show to the Chinese tourism market? we recommend that you make WiFi as widely available as possible so that Chinese tourists can share their experiences on social media in real-time.
And make sure you monitor and respond to comments from social media commenting sites like Mafengwo and DaoDao.
This will give you an idea of where the Chinese like and dislike travel destinations, hotels, attractions, and restaurants. The lobby makes it easy for you to visit your country to make your visa easy to buy and widely available to individual travelers in China.
Travel Forums & Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) in China
An excellent method for conducting market research and understanding what trends are going on in the Chinese tourist demographic is to go on to Chinese travel forums. Participating in online forums can also give your company credibility while also increasing exposure to your brand. Currently, the most popular travel forum in China is TuNiu.
While independent travel and the ability to book a trip independently from a travel agency is becoming an increasingly popular method for planning a trip, there is still a large market for group trips and trips that can be booked through an online travel agency (OTA). The most popular online travel agencies in China are CTrip, eLong, and Qunar, and fliggy. Having your service or product listed with these travel agencies can be extremely beneficial since they’re able to advertise and help bring both large groups and individual tourists to your business.
Historically, the two largest players in the OTA scene have been Qunar and Ctrip. However, in recent years, these two giants have agreed to partner with each other and collaborate. Now, they control almost 80% of the OTA market in China.
How is COVID-19 affecting travel from China?
Travel restrictions coming in and out of China and around the world have diminished the tourism industry in the past year. That being said, with the implementation of a new vaccine throughout the world, travel is expected to pick up once more.
Some countries may even implement a “vaccine passport” which would allow individuals who are able to verify that they have received the vaccine to travel even before larger travel restrictions are completely lifted.
Although the return to normal may be slow, it can be expected that once travel is more widely accessible again that people throughout the world, and especially from China, will be itching to satisfy their travel bug.
Looking for an agency to promote your touristic destination in China?
SEO agency China has years of expertise in the field, contact us to get a free consultation do discuss your goals in China with us.