In recent years travelers from China became the most targeted by world’s touristic and leisure industry. Chinese remain leaders in total numbers of visits and expenditures during overseas trips. Now with gaining travelling experience they are gradually switching from their most popular Asian destinations to a long-distance travel in order to discover new interesting places and get multicultural experience around the globe.
Egypt, due to its rich historical heritage and nature’s uniqueness, could propose Chinese tourists those cultural activities they are looking for.
In this article, we will talk about what small business that is connected to the tourism and leisure industry in Egypt could do to attract tourists from China. But before to start let’s see what kind of tourists are coming to Egypt from China mainland to understand their needs and target them more precisely.
Chinese key traveler groups and their priorities
Despite that Chinese outbound tourist market is relatively new, it already has a quite complex structure. Over time there appear many new segments and niches, but as it is not that settled yet, currently they are overlapping and interacting with each-other. To make things clearer it is better to simplify and represent it with just two key segments, especially for cultural activities destinations.
- Mass group travelers. They represent more than 40% of the market. This segment consists of two niches: middle-aged mass group travelers and young travelers with their children.
- Middle-aged mass group travelers prefer to travel in large groups. They are just gaining overseas travel experience and have very limited and simplified vision of it. They’re budget-oriented, have poor foreign language skills, less open-minded. They are choosing mainly world’s most “branded” destinations and prefer intense sightseeing over tours quality. Generally, it’s possible to say that they are travelling mainly for a tick and for some status over their Chinese peers.
Last three years ratio of Chinese middle-aged mass group travelers among other segments is gradually declining. However, it is needed to take in account, that for now, only 10% of Chinese acquired a foreign passport and those middle-aged who just take the chance to go abroad are generally coming through this kind of traveling experience for later switching to another one. Therefore, according to many studies, this niche will gradually decline, but still will remain quite large in the next years, especially on the most popular destinations.
- Young travelers with their children. Generally, they already have some travelling experience, their foreign language skills mostly enough or beyond basic communication capabilities, they are more open-minded. They prefer travelling with their peers and/or with children. Mostly they prefer to choose middle and small size groups, good quality tours to explore full potential of visited locations.
They are not really stuck with their budget and in most cases are very happy to extend it during traveling for more impressions or souvenirs. They are mainly seeking multicultural experiences and educational tours. This niche currently is on the raise on a long-distant destination.
- Individual Travelers. This segment mainly represented by independent explorers and niche travelers.
- Independent explorers young and experienced travelers in their 20-30s with good foreign language skills. They prefer to travel independently and are seeking for unique experiences. Generally, they’re very precise planners, prefer to book budget accommodations and have a clear idea of what kind of experience they want to get from where they are going to.
- Niche travelers.This is high-end class of tourists who prefer hand-crafted tours, luxury accommodations and unique travel experiences. They are mainly travelling in pairs and/or with heir children.
Independent explorers could be effectively reached only in case of proposing some truly unique and valuable experiences, mostly they are not aimed at large shopping on traveling destinations. Making efforts in reaching niche travelers always means high level of investments. Taking into account that currently many large players in traveling business are fighting to get them, idea in getting into this race might not be that vise for small entrepreneurs. So, let’s better put our attention on how to reach mass group travelers.
Further, to make things even more understood, we will divide our advices in two parts. First one is about what you can do locally for your guests, second is what you should do to make Chinese tourists come to you.
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Safety and cooperation
Currently, the dominant factor that constrains the development of all of Egypt’s tourism is safety concerns. Despite that its government provides security initiatives, reforms and spends millions in improving the situation, there are still significant incidents happening over the years. In the same time, Egyptians are succeeding in cooperation with the Chinese government in the different fields of economy. If the first influences very negatively on Chinese’s traveling choice, as among many other nations they are very security focused, the second creates cause for them to explore Egypt. Thing is not only in simplification of getting visas. Larger cooperation between governments means appearing much more information about Egypt in Chinese’s official channels: TV, Radio, Social medias. This generally stirs Chinese interest in exploring mentioned destinations. Of course, Egypt’s small business can do nothing to fix national security, but something still can be done to improve the situation locally:
- Carefully study popular tourists’ destinations, traffic routes and attractions to offer the safest to Chinese.
- Improve the security of provided accommodations by enhancing control over it (video cameras, additional staff and rules for guests).
- Find out if there are some governmental discounts/compensations for travelling/shopping, visiting national cultural heritage destinations available. Provide this information to your Chinese guests.
- Inform your Chinese tourists in details about types of frauds they can be exposed on the mass destinations and how to avoid this negative experience.
Your Chinese guests will very appreciate you for making attempts in their safety risks reduction and providing valuable information of how to avoid negative experience over their stay in Egypt.
Chinese Speaking guides and translated printing materials
If your business in Egypt is directly connected to tours and accommodations, importance of providing GOOD Chinese speaking guides and/or staff can’t be underestimated. Ratio of Chinese who’re seeking for multicultural and educational experiences is growing. They already could be the most lucrative your clients or will become them in future. Their word of mouth means very much for your success, as in China recommendations plays an important role in personal decisions.
Translating printing materials with a description of your service, travel guides, accommodations, locations or main sightseeing and shopping destinations will also be a great help for your Chinese tourists. But be careful in recommending exact shops/cafes/restaurants as they are not stupid and will quickly understand that you are doing it for the commission.
Tips to adopt services and hospitality
- Chinese are very like to be welcomed in their own language. It could be a good idea for you and your staff to learn some key phrases in their language.
- Many Chinese are taking with them personal thermoses with hot water or tea. It would be good to propose them refilling on your destinations together with a natural (not packaged) tea.
- Another welcoming idea is to propose them small pieces of local fruits while waiting on your destination, as it is common practice in China.
- Avoid of proposing trips or activities with lots of sunbathing. Generally Chinese don’t prefer to be tanned. In their culture white skin is considered as a symbol of youth, aristocracy and wealth.
Additional food options
In Chinese culture, food plays one of the central roles. Eating there goes far beyond satisfaction physical needs and also means sharing a good time together.
- It would be great to organize a buffet for your Chinese guests with the samples of local dishes and written names on it. Chinese are often asking of what new they can try during their trips.
- Chinese like the feeling of being at home wherever they travel. It is quite required to have at least rice and some Chinese spices among your local dishes. Having noodles or Chinese restaurant near your destination would be perfect, especially for those, who travel for a long time and with the members of their families.
More payment options
In cashless payments, Chinese tourists are mainly using their own UnionPay electronic banking cards and their native mobile payment platforms, like WeChat and Alipay – 70% of the market in China.
Do not underestimate providing this means of payments for your service or products. It is already seen on practice and proven by several surveys that the Chinese are ready to buy noticeably more products or services on their trips if they have the chance to use their native payment services. Providing UnionPay service locally might be not that easy, however making cross-border payments account on your phone for fast payments is must have.
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