While middle European countries became classic destinations, Chinese tourists do not rush to Hungary, Croatia, or Romania. Eastern-Europe countries have not yet carved their reputation in China … This article explains to you why and how to improve the tourist image of a country for Chinese tourists.
It should be noted that the Netherlands have more and more success with the Chinese, due to the visit of its main town Amsterdam, whose romanticism of canals and bicycles offer a ‘new France’. The Dutch have a significant advantage for Chinese tourists: be good English speakers, an asset that the French should be inspired. In addition, the Netherlands has not experienced a resounding terrorist threat as has been the case for several Western European countries in recent years.
Why did Romania, Croatia, and Iceland make the European dream but not the Chinese?
For Ning, tourism in Romania should not be interesting; it is only countryside tourism, with cottages and guesthouses. She has never heard of the glacier in Iceland; after showing her a picture, it turns out that she has never seen a glacier either. This discovery does not intrigue her more than that: if she has never heard of it, it’s probably because the discovery is not worth it. She thought instead to go to the North of Europe to see aurora borealis. Aurora borealis, it’s known!
Rongyi sums up Germany in three pictures: the great Catholic churches, the sausages, and Köln. He never went there, but personally, he doesn’t mean to: it is not romantic like France, and we certainly do not find such beautiful landscapes. The proof: he has heard that Germans are all going to France to spend their holidays!
Rongyi does not know Croatia, so he does not want to go there. To attract him, it’s simple: the monuments must be beautiful and well-known. If no one in China knows the city in Europe where he goes, that is of no interest. Spain is symbolic for the Chinese thanks to its cultural heritage, that’s why he has to go. When he is shown images of Plitvice waterfall, he exclaims in surprise and agrees that it is very beautiful, but that does not influence his opinion. Croatia is not known at all, so it’s not interesting, end of the discussion. There are places to visit and the list is very clear in his mind.
Why do some border countries still receive a lot of Chinese tourists?
Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg are not as famous in China as their neighbors, but benefit from tourism and earn considerable revenue anyway. Indeed, the Chinese circuits are known to make profitable to the eyes of tourists by making a maximum of discoveries in a minimum of time, for example, enabling the discovery of 5 countries in 6 days.
Let’s not forget that the Chinese only have three weeks of paid leave over a year. The many holidays in China do not allow travel outside the territory, and on all their holidays, Chinese employees can only place a single week freely. The other leaves will be imposed by their company which optimizes staff turnover.
To value a trip to Europe for as little as a week, you have to see a lot. To limit costs, you have to travel by bus with a group. In order to propose more discoveries and also to make more reasonable steps between the long journeys, the circuits spend at least one day in Belgium, Austria, and Luxembourg to make the connection between France, Italy, and Germany. The North of France also serves as a relay to win England.
How to transform the image of a destination to bring Chinese tourists?
What is essential for Chinese tourists
- The visited places must be symbolic and confer a certain social prestige to Chinese tourists. This is the case, for example, of the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, which is a perfect illustration of the greatness and history of European civilization and a well-known monument. Visiting such a place shows that the tourist has cultural knowledge that gives him face.
- The tourist country must be secure. The misadventures of a country are always amplified abroad, the Americans were, for example, convinced that the whole of France had become a zone of civil war after the terror attacks. The image of France has also suffered greatly from terrorism and the series of thefts of which Chinese tourists have been victims.
- Chinese tourists love luxury destinations and modernity, they generally prefer big cities and monuments adorned with gilding. They associate the countryside with dirt and poverty. Berlin, for example, does not have a sales image at all: grunge and tags do not speak to the Chinese, who favor cities full of magnificence such as Köln and München. The impacts of the Cold War on Europe are ignored by the Chinese.
- Chinese tourists like to use mobile payment methods in China: Alipay and Wechat Pay. These methods make traveling easier: no need to take your wallet and payment is faster.
Create a new attractive image of a city or country for Chinese tourists
- Bet on its modernity and its cultural wealth.
- Highlight the glorious aspects of the country’s history, China is not interested in failures.
- Make tourism monuments known for the most elaborate architecture and paintings, as this is what fascinates tourists the most around the world.
- Set up in the tourist sales outlets the payments by Alipay, if possible Wechat, although the latter application is surrounded by some restrictions in its use abroad.
- Advertise your luxury hotel business.
- Transmit a security image through its advertising campaign.
Keep in mind the Chinese Holiday dates
Holidays are a very important part of life in Chinese society. In order for a tourism business to attract Chinese customers it is very important to be aware of the Chinese holiday calendar, keep in mind that it has almost nothing similar to the western calendars (European & American). As a non-Christian country, there are no Christmas holidays, Easter holidays,s or any other type of holiday you would encounter in the West.
The main two Chinese holidays are the ‘Golden week’, which comes after China’s National day which occurs at the beginning of October, and the week during the Chinese New Year which happens between January and March. These breaks are based on the Lunar calendar, as a result, the dates are bound to be different each year. For many Chinese citizens, the two periods mentioned earlier are for most the only opportunities they will have to go on holiday during the whole year.
As a result, Chinese tourist spots are flooded with visitors during these times, however more and more Chinese tourists are looking outside of the country for new and less crowded holidays. With that in mind, it is necessary for tourism businesses to be ready to welcome Chinese visitors during these crucial periods.
Use an Official WeChat account to attract Chinese tourists
WeChat is one of the most used apps in China, it is especially useful for businesses as they can use mini-apps and mini-programs to advertise their business through their WeChat account. Knowing that more than 900 million monthly active users are constantly looking for information on the platform, brands looking to break in on the Chinese market should definitely create their own Official WeChat account as that will ensure that their brand’s voice is recognized in Chinese social media.
How we can help you develop the image of your tourist destination
Marketing to China is a digital marketing agency, that helps you to improve your e-reputation.
We can help you develop the best strategy to enhance the image of your tourism heritage, especially by optimizing your communication on Chinese social networks. You will gain visibility to reach your customers, we also give you the keys to better reception of Chinese customers.
Do not hesitate to contact our experts!