How to attract Chinese tourists?

How to attract Chinese tourists?

How to attract Chinese tourists?

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The tourism industry is facing a major change with the boom of Chinese tourists. The figures don’t lie:

  • 42 millions tourists in the world,
  • 500,000 tourists in 2011 in France
  • 4-5 million of Chinese tourists within five years
  • They spent over 200 million euros just in Shopping alone
  • The highest spending is € 1,500 per visitor
  • These figures are increasing from 10 to 15% per year.

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However the majority of key players in the tourism trade can not make themselves known and do not know how to attract new travelers. Business travel is also expanding, the Chinese are traveling more abroad for business trips.

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Chinese tourists in France

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There are many Chinese travelers traveling or planning to travel to France, and the vast majority of these visitors usually only visits a few places they are familiar with like Paris, Provence and a new popular destination “Bordeaux”.

The Chinese have a rather limited vision of France. Their idea of France usually comes from movies, television series or what they read in the media or microblogs. In order to reach this large demographic of travelers one must understand the unique web surfing pattern of Chinese people.

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But there are ways to get acquainted

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Let us look at an overview of possibilities for the tourism industry to attract the attention of the Chinese travelers.

Here are the range of solutions.

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Having a Website in Chinese

Having a website in Chinese is probably the first action required to make yourself known to your customers.

 

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The “rendezvous en France” website in Chinese shows pictures of Lafayette shops, to peak interests of Chinese travelers due to their love for shopping when traveling to the land of luxury designer goods.

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The ideal is to have your site hosted in China, for faster loading. It is crucial to have visitors on your website to arouse their interest, it must attract visitors by SEM (pay per click, banners …) or SEO, talk about your website on forums or on Chinese social networks (Weibo)

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Establish partnerships with local Chinese agencies

The vast majority of Chinese tourists travel in groups. According to the latest report by the tourism agency of China, group travel takes up 70% of traveling for Chinese people. This number tends to decrease with time but will still remain strong for many reasons.

-Language barrier: many Chinese citizens do not speak English so they need a guide to guide them

-Visa filing: agencies take care of everything and make it easier to obtain a VISA, which can often be a hassle for Chinese travelers due to the complicated process

-Fear of adventure: most Chinese people have never traveled abroad until the recent decade, so they are less eager to explore alone.

-Groups: In the Chinese culture people are used to doing things in groups.

-Price benefit: traveling with a travel agency is much cheaper than traveling in a single or small group, and for a price sensitive society like China it is one of the driving factors for group travel.

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Communication among agencies can make your website known, and allows you to generate your first business. Agencies are generally hard to find, they have specific requirements and are already working with contractors for many years. Having strong media marketing is a must!

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Online promotion

Internet in China is increasing its influence, both large and small brands utilizes the internet to promote their businesses. Whether by direct promotion with banners or indirect via Buzzs or public relations, online communication has now become almost mandatory.

=> A low initial investment, ROI (Return on Investment) generally good and measurable, a wide range of media, interactivity with the customer … all these factors make online promotion a big factor in the Chinese tourism sector.

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The Multimedia

Using quality Multimedia is a particularly effective tool in the travel industry. The tourist has to have a fantasy image of the country he will visit. Attractive pictures, videos of fantasy-like images are used by agencies to attract customers looking for a trip, but also to raise awareness about their vacation destination.

New Zealand conducted a major operation in digital communications and succeeded in attracting many Chinese tourists.

.Striking pictures to attract attention online

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Social networks

Internet influence on Chinese citizens has become vast and wide. The major part of Chinese Internet users spend time on is on social networks, like Weibo. Weibo is a mix between twitter and facebook, it combines the responsiveness of twitter, looking for information with the social and playful side of Facebook.

Communicating on Weibo starts by openning an account, obtainning certifications, publishing interesting content, interacting with Internet users around the goal of building a community. Weibo has become a very powerful tool, the number of fans can add up quickly and allows you to spread your offer to up to 300 million people according to figures reported on Weibo.

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PR (Press Relations)

Doing PR in China is very important. It allows you to promote your service to a wide variety of Chinese citizens. This communication is primarily with rich visuals or  feeds backs and testimonials from people who has visited the country.

Online Public relation in China and particularly in the travel industry is increasing at a rapid rate.

A new article on a Chinese site can be viewed tens of thousands of times!

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The Opinion Leader or Stars

KOLs (Key Opinion Leader) or stars have this ability to influence a lot of Chinese people with their communities and the secondary network of their fans. These leaders are well respected and have a strong influence on large numbers of fans. Their movements are followed and talked about by millions of Internet users.

Angela Baby a star from Hong Kong had the massive amounts of comments on his Weibo when it unveiled its microblog on his stay in France.

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New Zealand hired Yaochen to spread their country’s message in China and the bet paid off big time! (See Communication from New Zealand)

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See also how Chinese tourist choose their hotel!

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Magazine (not recommended)

Chinese people do not read magazines, the publications in China are few and the information don’t have the influence on the population like magazines in the Western world.

In the tourism sector, there are some interesting magazines, but the scope is difficult to assess because the numbers are often inflated. Publication costs are heterogeneous and sometimes abnormally high.

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Cinema: Product placement

Film and television is a medium form of communication to inform Chinese public of your travel destination. A movie  watched by millions of Chinese can make a lasting memory and do wonders. A hit TV series is the ultimate weapon which profoundly influences the mass public.

Today, film or other audiovisual up brands in the real emotional and identifiable by the consumer.

A Chateau Lafite for special occasions, a Mac for professionals, an ice Haegendass to seduce a beautiful girl … It was during a scene that the consumer thinks the best use of the product or in a place.

This discipline is called product placement, a marketing technique to maturity in the U.S. today, and progress in China.

The cinema is a reflection of life, real life or the life that you would like to have. The spectator believes what he sees.

Many companies help shape this reality and allow the director to create his fictional universe.

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The TV series “Dream links”

Also Stars promotion for tourism in China

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This process is very difficult against by China, few foreign companies are able to do this (unlike Hollywood movies). The majority of the achievements is the chance to promote Country.

It remains possible and demand huge budgets but I think these actions are a frightening efficiency. Brand placement in films is also used by all companies at the forefront of Marketing (BMW, Apple, LMVH …)

source : Tourism Chinese china tourism bureau , China medical Tourism ,CNRChinese tourism : special markets, Sina

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Conclusion

I think you’re all in this article offers regarding your communication with the Chinese target.

We offer solution to help companies who want attract these chinese tourist. If you have a serious project, please contact us for further information or see our references !

Marketingtochina(at)gmail.com

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Olivier VEROT

Marketing China

Written by Olivier

Olivier, Passionnated about Marketing and Chine. Already 30 years old and 6 years spending in China. I share my analysis about China, for almost 4 years via my french Blog marketing-chine.com.

24 Comments

  1. Philip · July 18, 2012

    Very nice article who sump up a lot of truths of this market. now many countries invest to promote themself in China in Asia. only Phillipines have Lost everythings !

  2. Marina (based MONZA, near MILAN, ITALY) · September 6, 2012

    THANKS SO MUCH TO THE AUTHOR !
    This article is exactly what I was looking for.
    My challange is to convince my town-hall administration (MONZA)
    to “open to chinese tourism”, having to offer an YEARLY WORLD EVENT
    (the Formule 1 GRAND PRIX of ITALY);
    I was reading somewhere that some Chinese tourists are fond of FORMULE 1
    events (together with many other things, of course, but here the ZOOM
    is about SPORT-WORLD-EVENTS).
    In Monza, we have a strongpoint: unlike other world-events, that take place
    always in different towns of different countries, this WORLD-EVENT
    at MONZA comes back EVERY YEAR in the same place
    (at MONZA RACETRACK since 1922 !!! that is 90 years ago).
    Like all similar races of FORMULE 1, around the world (president
    of championship: mr Ecclestone).
    NEW: a WEB-TV has just been created by our racetrack,
    today in English & Italian, tomorrow also in Chinese, as I hope & will work for:
    http://www.monzarace.tv

    So, thanks again to the AUTHOR !!!
    Now, I’ll be able to submit the above article to the decision-makers
    and power-holding managers of my local community:
    it’ll clear ideas to them wonderfully.
    Though I’ll have to take the time to TRANSLATE IT into ITALIAN,
    since some of them dont speak English (sob!).
    Here my e-mail address, if somone wants more details about the above:
    alatur1986@virgilio.it.
    My greeting to all readers. MARINA, from MONZA, ITALY.

  3. Marc · October 15, 2012

    Very good article. It is a big potential everywhere in the world these chinese tourist, how can they spend so much that s the mystery for many people.

    TIme is changing !

  4. Eltohami maher · December 7, 2012

    I want to cooperate with you from Paris to receive Chinese tourist avog to Europe, I do many buses we have extensive experience in the field of tourism with the Chinese since I’ll be glad to cooperate with you thanks

    • Philip · December 9, 2012

      Hi Eltohami, glad to see your comment. Would you mind telling me more details about your plan and send to me? Then I can give your more advice. Thanks!

  5. Major Marketing Tools to Attract Chinese Tourists | marketing to China · December 17, 2012

    [...] are mainly two solutions to attracting Chinese tourists: online solutions and off-line [...]

  6. akila lin · January 2, 2013

    take a look ;-)

  7. Chinese Tourists · January 7, 2013

    [...] South.Travel habitAccording to the Nielsen China Outbound Travel Monitor, most Chinese tourists are from the south. In 2008, 10% of the residents from South of China have visited a foreign [...]

  8. Zahid · January 13, 2013

    Hi Philip,

    I would like to know what our accommodation can do to attract more guests from China.

    We are based in Glasgow in Scotland, Great Britain.

    We are a bed & breakfast accommodation seeking Chinese tourists to stay with us.

    If you view our URL website, we have Chinese translation our website & we are advertised on many hotel websites like booking.com, expedia, venere, hostelbookers etc.

    Are there websites that are popular in China that you could reccomend?

    Are there local travel agencies that you could recomend that send large groups of Chinese tourists to Scotland?

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    Regards

    • Philip · January 13, 2013

      hi Zahid,
      I recommand you firstly settle the positioning of your agency and service and then list and contact the potential parnters according to your positioning, that will save you a lot of time and effort. Good luck!

  9. Patrick · March 30, 2013

    Thank you for sharing these very interesting information.
    according to my understanding of these market, travelling with groups is still very popular !
    I guess in the next 3 years the individual market will become bigger and bigger when people will understand that freedom have no price :)

  10. Olivier · June 1, 2013

    Yes Patrick,
    Freedom has no price, and the trends DIY (do it yourself) is more and more popular !

  11. What jewelers should do to attract Chinese tourists ? - Marketing China | Marketing China · September 11, 2013

    […] The value of Chinese tourists for the luxury good sector and especially jewelers is not in dispute. Indeed with an estimated market of over £1.4 billion to the UK economy Chinese tourists are the new star customers of luxury goods for the 10 next years. (more information here) […]

  12. Li · October 2, 2013

    Nice article.
    But how to really deal with local Chinese agencies and how to do B2B an B2C in Chiese Market, it’s not occidental way at all, something is hiding from you, something only chinese people could do among them. What you need to do and to deal is absolutely more than that. I’m not telling here. ^^
    Of course if your company is huge and famous enough.

  13. Olivier · October 3, 2013

    Hello Li,

    We do not explain how to deal in B2B with Chinese agencies, that is not the topic.

    Experienced Chinese people can do that yes, but also some Foreign agencies with Chinese staff… ;-)

    A travelling agency who wants to attract Chinese tourists should have Chinese staff or mandarin speakers.

  14. flower · October 20, 2013

    hi am intereted in inviting chinese tourist to KENYA,its a very beautiful country,am in china my no 13431311726,i would like to advertise my country for tourism and invite investors too

  15. Marty · December 23, 2013

    This post will help the internet visitors for setting up new weblog or even a blog from start to end.

  16. Kaniaru Stephen · January 5, 2014

    Thanks Olivier for this article, it has given me an insight into Chines travel marketing needs although it never mentioned about Chines tourists niche in Africa. I would like to market East Africa and more so Kenya to China Market Through Madiba Tours & Travel as there is a great deal of relationship between China and Africa. However Africa have remained the best travel destination due to its natural wealth.

  17. Hermelinda · February 16, 2014

    I visit day-to-day some web pages and information about websites
    to read content, except this website provides quality based articles about China.

  18. techno Maker · March 3, 2014

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger, and Your website marketingtochina is so interesting. I have joined your feed and stay up for in quest of more of your fantastic post about China. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks linkedin a lot already.

    Jiayou

  19. Tanesha · April 25, 2014

    Ԍreat post. Ι’m facing ɑ few of tɦese issues. It will really be a huge Market.
    VISA policy in many countries, it changes, they start to welcome Chinese People. That s good
    аs well..

  20. The Carb Nite Solution · May 10, 2014

    Your article content demonstrates that you’re actually well written and able to write attention-catching content articles.

    Ever write for other people? I possibly could compensate you for the work
    (hourly, per piece of writing, .etc).

  21. Janice · June 20, 2014

    Great article, thanks! We have a Bed & Breakfast Guest House in Cape Town. Please can you tell me who I may get to translate our website into Chinese and hosted in China, as I am interested in doing this?

  22. Robert · October 3, 2014

    Hello everyone, I was reading through some of the comments in the start of this discussion, and it took some time for me to realize that you were talking about the zodiac signs? I don’t really get what happened there in the beginning. And I presume this has been asked many times before, and I am sorry if so is the case, but what is the thought behind this discussion? An experiment of some sort?
    Congratulation for your article about Travel industry just amazing.

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