5 Tips to attract Chinese tourists to Indonesia

In 2014, 9,435,000 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia. Among them, there were 1.3 million Chinese outbound tourists in 2015 and the number is now expected to reach 2.1 million in 2016. China is the biggest tourism market for Indonesia. It is then followed by Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. According to The Central Statistics Agency (BPS), 888,309 tourists visited Indonesia with more than 161,000 being Chinese tourists in February 2016, which represents about 18% of the total and an increase of 12.5% compared to February 2014.

In 2019, Indonesia struggle to attract more Chinese tourists 

Indonesia and Chinese tourists


BPS CEO stated during a press conference at its own company in Jakarta: “Garuda Indonesia has opened a direct flight from Denpasar, Bali, to Shanghai, China. This has helped boost the number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia.”

Indonesia is now focusing on how attracting more Chinese tourists in the next following years. For the moment, the government mainly focused on lowering visa requirements for Chinese people. It is now possible (under defined conditions) for Chinese people to visit Indonesia without a visa.

China has been also investing more in Indonesian infrastructure. China won the bid to build a high-speed railway for the modest amount of 5.5$ billion USD however it seems that the project got suspended because of the lack of some documents.

What is the popular destination in Indonesia?

Popular islands to visit in Indonesia are Sumatra and Java, Bali and ‘komodo’ to the ‘middle of Indonesia’. . Java is Indonesia’s most populous island  and serves as the geographic and economic center of Indonesia. The nation’s capital, Jakarta, is located in northwestern part of the island.

source tourfrombali.com

Before the Chinese New Year, Ctrip.com the leader in the OTA (online travel agency) market stated that Indonesia ranked first among favorite overseas destinations for the 2016 Chinese Year. Plateno, a Chinese hotel Chain is planning on expanding its brand in Indonesia. They will mainly focus on budget hotels in order to attract Chinese tourists. The main Plateno brands will be 7 Days brands.

5 Tips to attract Chinese tourists to Indonesia

  1. Build a Chinese Website 
  2. SEO on Baidu 
  3. Social Media in China
  4. Online Reputation: Chinese do not be cheated so they check everything
  5. China Media buying: to get exposure

As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities for tourism players in Indonesia or foreign brands in Indonesia looking to attract Chinese tourists. The best way to reach to them is to go digital.

With more than 660 million Internet users in China, China is one of the biggest online communities in the world. Needless to say, having a strong online presence is essential to reach Chinese customers.

Build a Chinese Website 

Chinese prefer to read Chinese and having a nice Chinese website is a must. 

Baidu SEO Search Engine Optimization


The first way to attract more Chinese customers is by being visible to the eye of Chinese tourists. According to Iresearch China, about half of Chinese tourists go through online travel agencies. In 2014, according to a report from CITM, half of them go on online travel websites, 47% on online review websites, 33% on social media, and finally 33% via mobile app search to find related information about their destination.

According to China Internet Watch, in June 2015, 536.15 million Chinese netizens used search engines among which 454 million were mobile search engine users. Baidu is the main search engine in China with about 80% of the market share followed by Seigou. In order to gain more visibility, you should optimize your website’s SEO strategy to attract more Chinese visitors to your website and then potential customers. However, you should make sure that your website is responsive (tailored for mobile phones) and also should comply with Baidu’s requirements and Chinese government ideals.

Another way to be present on Chinese search engines is by using SEM strategies. PPC on Baidu will ensure that you will be on the first pages for specific keywords and help you to be more visible.

Social Media in China wechat 

Chinese people are crazy social media users. 25 hours per week on average in all of China. Can you imagine that?

According to KPMG, there are more than 659 million social media users in China, which accounts for about half of the Chinese population. It is estimated that 9 out of 10 Internet users in China use a social media platform. The main social media platforms in China are WeChat and Weibo.

In Tourism many high-quality forums are Social and many new social media are emerging, Meipai, nice …

WeChat, called Wei Xin (微信) is the biggest social media in China. It has more than 690 million active users in the world and China is the biggest market. It is an instant text/audio messaging Chinese mobile app.

68% of Chinese adult Internet users are active on WeChat and about 3/4 are aged 18 to 35 years old. Also, 6 out of 10 WeChat users open the app at least 10 times a day.

If you are planning on engaging with Chinese tourists, WeChat gives you the opportunity to just do that, and easily. You can share your QR code (see below), which will allow Chinese potential tourists to add you on WeChat. Afterward, you can share great content with your audience by sharing innovative content, and videos, and presenting special offers for your followers. Weibo, a micro-blogging website, is another great platform that as more than 222 million active users and offers a Twitter-like experience. It is possible to have thousands of followers if you use the right strategies such as cross-links with all of your social media platforms and liaising with KOL (key opinion leaders)


Online Reputation: Chinese do not be cheated so they check everything

Reputation is very important for Chinese people. This mainly lies in basic Chinese cultural values of the Face, called “Mian Zi” 面子. It is a quite difficult concept to explain in a few words but if we had to choose it would be “reputation” and “honor”. They also strongly value friends, online opinion leaders, and generally Internet feedback. Taking care of your reputation online by making sure that there are very few negative comments online is consequently essential. You can even build your own reputation via social media platforms by spreading positive feedback thanks to relevant and high-quality content. A bad e-reputation can decrease your ability to attract Chinese tourists. According to Accenture’s study in 2011, 97% shared with others their bad customer service experiences, and half of the Chinese consumers go online to share negative comments.

As an example when a Malaysian Airlines plane crashed back in 2014, there was a huge loss of trust among Chinese tourists. Numerous major Chinese OTA suspended plane tickets for Malaysia for a couple of weeks. This also caused a 30% decrease in bookings for Malaysia a month later. Also, some Chinese airlines reduced also their daily flights

malaysia airlines

China Media buying: to get exposure 


Source: Clickz.com // a WeChat moment ad for Infiniti (car)

Last but not least, tourism players looking to attract Chinese travellers should invest in media buying. Not any media buying, digital media buying. Why digital? Because it is cheaper than TV ads, has a wide audience, and provides a unique space for storytelling. According to a McKinsey study, big foreign brands such as Unilever, P&G, or Nike heavily rely on Sina.com, Sohu, and video platforms such as Youku and Tudou for their advertising campaign.

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— Olivier VEROT (@Olivierverot) 20 mai 2016

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