Qatar: How Small Businesses Can Attract Chinese Tourists?

Chinese is more and more inclined to spend their money on unique experiences. They want to acquire incredible memories and adventures of a lifetime. More and more Chinese are traveling abroad every year, and Qatar is becoming a particularly popular destination in the country.

In 2017, the number of Chinese tourists to Qatar was 20,000, which represents a 68% increase compared to the previous year! The number of Chinese tourists visiting Qatar in 2019 has increased by 8% over the previous year. In the first quarter, the second quarter, and the beginning of the third quarter of 2019, there were 37,670 Chinese tourists visiting Qatar. This is a huge growth that says a lot about the new cravings of Chinese tourists. 

Good times for Qatary to prepare for receiving Chinese outbound tourists

Last September, Qatar was considered by China as an “approved destination”. This was an important step for the emirate in its conquest of the Middle Kingdom because this status is very important for the Chinese. It is a guarantee for them to travel to a safe country where tourist services are reliable. This allows it to receive more Chinese tourists, but also to promote its touristic attractions in China.

Qatar still has many qualities that make it Chinese tourists’ dream, especially for the rather affluent part of the population. Because Qatar is a rich country, the luxury industry (which the rich Chinese love) is very present and services are of high quality. In other words, it’s a little paradise for millionaires and Chinese gilded youth. They love to shop, and the major shopping centers of the emirate gathering all the most luxurious brands can only please them. But the emirate has more than that to offer to the tourists.

The country is a harmonious contrast between contemporary architecture and preserved landscapes. Endowed with a heavy Arab cultural heritage, it is also an opportunity for Chinese tourists to discover a culture very different from theirs. In addition, the tourism trend in China in recent years is indeed that of a trip more adventurous, more experiential, and unique. Qatar can offer all that.

Here are the main attractions that interest Chinese tourists:

  • The Museum of Islamic Art

This masterpiece of architecture located in Doha (the capital city), allows Chinese tourists to discover 14 centuries of Islamic art.

  • The Souq Waqif

To discover the culture of a country, what’s better than to discover its markets? Souq Waqif is the most famous traditional market in the capital. It transports tourists to the authentic Qatari atmosphere.

  • Doha Bay

A walk of 7 km shapes the bay of the capital. It is a nice place to walk and enjoy the view: the sea on one side, and skyscrapers on the other. There are many cafés, restaurants, etc., everything that tourists would look for.

  • The Inland Sea

The only place in the world where the sea is surrounded by sand dunes is located in Qatar. This is exactly the kind of unique and unforgettable experience that Chinese tourists are looking for.

  • Fort Al Zubarah

In this UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chinese tourists can visit the ruins of an ancient village and a remarkably well-preserved castle.

  • Falconry

Part of Qatari tourism is also focused on falconry. Chinese tourists enjoy this kind of show.

Qatar’s strategy to win Chinese people’s hearts

Qatar Tourism Authority has opened various offices in China, located in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. These three offices are intended to promote their country as a great touristic destination, and this has proven to be quite effective.

To do this, these different offices have used different techniques. They printed and distributed leaflets, but overall, they went to promote the tourist attraction of their country where the Chinese are the most: on social networks!

Qatar Weibo official account

In China, Chinese people are highly connected to their phones and spend a lot of their free time on Chinese social media, such as WeChat, and Weibo. Western social networks like Facebook or Twitter are all blocked by the Chinese Great Wall. For attracting Chinese tourists, being visible on their social media is the key. Qatar’s digital marketing campaign focused on WeChat and Weibo. It was a real success.

KOL boosts Qatar’s exposure and popularity

With the emergence of KOL, soft-selling IG Ads, IG Stories, and IGTV are more effective than traditional online advertisements that only have product photos, and can attract fans to spend time watching advertisements. KOLs have a fixed and large fan base, and advertisers will invite them to shoot promotional videos or product-sharing so that they can become short-term brand spokespersons.

Using this soft marketing technique, products or brands can be widely circulated among KOL fans, thereby increasing brand exposure and popularity. KOL promotion greatly reduces the negative effects of hard-selling and can increase fans’ trust and favor of the brand.

Qatar’s marketing campaigns with Chinese traveling KOL on Weibo

This is the case in Qatar. Chinese KOLs (i.e. influencers), as well as travel agencies, were invited to visit Qatar. This gave the emirate a lot of visibility and allowed agencies to better inform potential customers.

Facilities have been thoughts for Chinese tourists

Qatar has also taken some steps to encourage and facilitate the arrival of Chinese tourists: no visa is required, several hotels accept China UnionPay card payments, Chinese TV channels are offered in the rooms, and hot water for Chinese tea…

All these little attentions dedicated to them are and will continue to make Qatar successful among Chinese tourists. Their number is expected to grow in the years to come.

gma agency

If you also want to attract the Chinese thanks to a suitable digital marketing campaign, we can help you. Gentlemen Marketing Agency is based in Shanghai for several years. We can put our expertise in the Chinese market at your service. Do not hesitate to contact us.

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  • Qatar is “extremely well positioned” to attract Chinese tourists due to its luxurious offerings and high level of service

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