How to attract Rich Chinese Tourists to the Maldives?

Maldives plans to attract 1 million Chinese tourists and will bet on China this year. How can tourism players attract Chinese tourists to their hotels, restaurants, leisure, or travel agencies… And how to target rich clients?

chinese maldives

The Maldives is one of the top destinations for Chinese tourists, we are expecting a +75% increase in 2020 with rising disposable incomes and amid the mass Chinese international traveling trend.

The Maldives is regarded as a unique destination for Honeymooners, in China.

Chinese Tourist arrivals in the Maldives have increased by 25% compared to the same period in 2018, seeing an increase of 80 000 tourists per month.

The Maldives would like to reach one million tourists arrivals in 2017.

Asian tourists hold 43.7% of this market and increased by 106.8% last year, China is the biggest player in the market with its 1.4 billion strong population and 350 million ‘ middle-class consumers.

The 2017 +175% increase in Chinese tourists could be attributed to Chinese New Year travel trends, and also to the continuing rise in the Asian market. On the contrary, Europe which holds the largest share of the tourism market at 51.6%, fell by 6.2% in February 2016.

Chinese tourists are the future of the travel industry

Discount Culture and storytelling

The fake honeymoon story shocked Chinese people. To get discount, some Chinese people pretend to be couples enjoying a honeymoon in the Maldives. Hotels, agents and resorts offer special rooms, discounts or free lunch for new couples. Special offers usually include free meals, a complimentary visit to a spa and can include a basket of fruit or a bottle of champagne.

Most resorts require tourists to apply within six months of their marriage date. But marriage certificates can be easily manipulated on computers, and agents don’t have to break a sweat faking documents for clients. source

Fake certificates & the fake honeymoon increase has been criticized by Chinese netizens.

To get more customers, Chinese travel agencies are encouraging or even assisting their clients to forge fake marriage documents for honeymoon packages offered by Maldives travel agencies.

Chinese typical tourist VS Chinese Rich tourist

You have two kinds of Chinese tourists, rich tourists who are usually better educated and more discerning versus lower-income Chinese tourists who are usually relatively abrasive, ruder, and noisy. It is always a better solution to attract Rich Chinese tourists who will spend more and are in fact easier to satisfy.

Low income travellers visit more in Groups whilst rich people prefer individual and tailor-made travel, thus they often search online more extensively for the best place, the best restaurant and the best hotel/resorts…

china traveler rich

How to attract Chinese Tourists to your Resort, Hotel, or Agency?

Establish partnerships with local Chinese agencies

The vast majority of Chinese tourists travel in groups, led by local agencies. But what’s becoming more and more popular is individual travel, especially among the High Class of Chinese travelers. Travel groups always offer lower prices, but do not create that same sense of luxury that tailor-made itineraries and services.

Group travel is still popular because,

-Language barriers: many Chinese citizens are not able to speak English so they need a guide 

-Visa : agencies take care of everything and make it easier to get the VISA

-Fear of safety: most Chinese people are new travelers, and are afraid to explore out of their comfort zone.

-Groups: In Chinese culture, Chinese are used to doing things in larger groups.

-Price : traveling with a travel agency is much cheaper than traveling in a single or small group, and Chinese are still sensitive to price.

problem is to attract the poor Chinese travelers that do not spend much. 


How to reach your customers directly? The Web

Chinese tourists use online tools to search for information or to book their trip.

The major efficient marketing tools used are:

  • SEO: have good visibility on Baidu, the Chinese number one search engine.
  • Community management: be on every influential Chinese travel platform.

They are suitable methods because:

  1. They require low initial investment,
  2. Good ROI (Return on Investment)and measurable.
  3. a wide range of media,
  4. High levels of interactivity with the customer …
  5. All these factors make online promotion a big factor in tourism sector
  6. E-reputation control , get good comments and score from forums or specialized websites
  7. Communicate via Chinese social networks (like Weibo)

A Chinese Website

Having a website in Chinese is probably the first appropriate action to let the Chinese know about your service.

How to get a website which can bring you, wealthy customers?

  • Hosted in China, for faster loading.
  • Use  SEM (pay-per-click, banners …) or SEO, to attract people who want to travel, like this website

For example, if your site has a good rank on the Keywords ‘Maldives honeymoon travel’ it can generate a lot of Customers.

Maldives chinese website

PR (Press Relations) to work on your Reputation

Through PR campaigns we will be able to create a successful image. Some new articles on a Chinese site can be viewed tens of thousands of times!

The magazine is usually not an important source of information for Chinese people. E-media is the focus.

The KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) or Stars to let Chinese people dream

KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders)  have the power to influence the Chinese, they usually have big communities around them. Receiving good comments from them raise the profile of your services.

See how a Chinese girl explains her travel in the Maldives here.

Maldives chinese traveller

KOL operation can cost a lot but can have a great effect. See here.

We are a Tourism Marketing agency specializing in the Chinese outbound Tourism Market

  • We help tourism player to attract Chinese tourists,
  • You have to know that we have more than 300 clients in tourism (See here for our references)
  • And our solutions are always updated
  • Contact us to receive our free report with solutions detailed
  • and feel free to call us to have 30min free call with our etourism expert.
GMA Chinese digital ecommerce Agency


  • I have a guest house in Maldives. Need to market in Chinese. Please contact+9609999249

    • Hello Ali,
      Thank you for contacting us! Our expert will send you an email.

  • Equator Holiday Inn

    Zhu Liyan, I have a guesthouse in the Maldives. I would like to attract Chinese tourists.

  • Wow, Maldives such a beautiful small country full of beaches with clean blue water. China is growing rapidly at a great pace thus people are coming out of the poverty line never seen before. Now they have spare money to spend left after fulfilling their needs so the number of tourists from China to all around the world is growing.

  • Greetings from Maldives

    Manta Tours and Travels is a professional travel agency registered in Tourism Ministry of Maldives from 2014 onwards and our registration number is “TRA1070”.
    We are looking for commission basis outbound travel agents as business partners around the worldwide.
    We will offer uncommon tours to the most exciting travel destinations in Maldives. Our expertise, hospitality, flexibility and proficiency are united in harmony to match client desires and fill all of our client’s enjoyable holiday vacation arrangements as per their requirements.
    Travelling with Manta Tours and Travels will have a chance to interact with famous local historians, archeologists and other interesting information to learn a lot more about local history and culture of Maldives.
    Our core mission is Total Quality Management, ensuring customer satisfaction first and always. We continuously search for new discoveries in Maldives, plan every single detail thoroughly in order to satisfy any specific travel needs of our clients. With our long lasting experience and care, we ensure to our visitors one of the most enjoyable and memorable trip of their lifetime.
    Please count on Manta Tours and Travels for professional assistance and efficient handling of your clients holiday arrangements with your requirements.
    Have a good day!
    Thank you and Kind Regards

    Yours truly,

    Sales/Marketing Manager
    Manta Tours & Travels

  • Hello
    We are a the biggest Chinese OTA, and we are searching to partner with serious travel agencies high end , and with resort , private villa and hotels .
    contact me

  • Maldives records hike in Chinese tourists after two-year of slowdown…

  • Giovana Neves

    Dear Oliver
    I am reading your article. i am an operator in Seychelles, what do you suggest for Seychelles to benefit from the Chinese Tourism Market.

  • We operate a hotel in Maldives, Rasdhoo Island (very famous among Chinese travellers). We offer accommodation and excursions to our guests. Our guests are mainly from China.

    We would like to know if you are intrested in a Promote our business ?

    • Olivier

      We are interested to promote your business in China (of course) , you have to send us an email… higher chance of Reply than a Comment Amjad.
      We already have experience in Promoting Hotel & Resort in Maldives … Contact us to see our Case Studies in Tourism industry.

  • Chinese market is disaster to us, the agents in China has spoiled the market
    i have seen, some of tour operators published the wholesale contact rate without margin in their website.
    Chinese market is like an alligator is attacking to a rabbit

    • Hussan, could you explain a bit more what you mean by “some of tour operators published the wholesale contact rate without margin in their website.”?

  • Nearly 1.2 million arrivals were recorded in January-November 2016, up 4.6 per cent from the same 2015 period.

  • Hoteliers in the Maldives are having a harder time filling up rooms amid a surge in new hotel openings and slowdown in arrival growth. Feizal Samath reports

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