A new tourist with new way to operate
The past few years, there has been a change in the way Chinese consumer inquires on a brand or a product and finally decide to purshase or not. It is the same for Chinese tourists. In Western countries, people decide to travel somewhere thanks to family, friend or network’s advice. In China, it is also the case but it is mainly under the influence of the Internet.
Internet has become an indispensable tool for over 50% Chinese if they want to go on holiday overseas. To travel, the first reflex they have is to go search online and learn about destination there. They will also do their reservation on the Internet. With 100 million of them traveling around the world last year, and with this number expecting to double by 2017, the tourism sector is expanding like nothing before.
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However, before making it final decision, the tourist 3.0 will use social media, reviews and comments from travellers who have already been there, check out on forums the travel agency’s reputation and its services and finally solicit its virtual network by asking around. In addition to the tourism sector, it is the e-commerce one that win unanimous support at the time. One more reason to ride the wave.
If you are a foreign travel agency, you need to know what does influence Chinese tourist’s decision and which are the websites through he will go to get information. Therefore, you will be able to control this information, the image that your brand vehicule and know the best ways to sell your products on the Chinese Internet.
The digital places the most in demand
There is a considerable lack of traditional agencies, such as CITS or CIT, which offer not very interesting journey or trip. This gives the opportunity for online players such as Ctrip, eLong Qunar, Ivmama, Tuniu to explode.
Chinese tourists will first seek for the results on Baidu (80% market share). This search engine has the distinction of offering some feedbacks experiences. On blogs like Sina, travelers can share their experience with others that might be interested by doing the same. It is very important for a hotels or agencies to be named in these forums or on these blogs. Tuniu or Tieba Baidu offers that kind of services and are loved by Chinese.
For example, we worked with the travel agency Aiguemarine on high-end apartment in Paris. Ranked first on Baidu (when typing Luxury Journey in France or in Paris), this gave the agency about 10 quotations per week. On these quotations, 20% became customers spending € 10,000 per week on average.
The agency stoped its partnerships with Chinese agencies to focus on its SEO Baidu. Through our services, their website is clear and have a good design, the SEO and SEM campaigns have an effect, the few Pay Per Click campaigns also did and the community manager of our team monitoring the comments and reviews of the forums made the agency’s turnover increase.
Agency’s website are not sought that much unless the tourist knows exactly the agency he wants to travel with. Press articles are also a channel consumers go for information. Online ads and commercials are also used by the users channel but these visitors are not necessarily interested in your services, they are often spending little time on the page if they do not seek to go on holidays in advance.
Thereafter, it is the social networks that are the most used in China in this sector. Chinese consumers are very oriented and influenced by the price and, more than knowing what people thinks, compare them. 92% of active Chinese users use social networks. On these platforms, many accounts are entirely dedicated to travel, not in a commercial way, but through the movement of travelers posting their latest discovery. 80% of users who post photos, video or write posts regularly are particularly attractive targets for travel agencies.
The importance of these blogs and their communities
Forget everything on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube , now you can concentrate on Sina Weibo, WeChat and Tuniu and if you want to target Chinese tourists. Active users are very likely to discuss on these forums so do not hesitate to make a name for yourself that way too.
In addition, the tendency of Key Opinion Leader (KOL) in China is widespread. Travel agencies have had the good idea of paying Chinese stars or personality to travel through their services or go to partnership hotels and post their photos online. For example, Yaochen (a Chinese actress) has allowed New Zealand to become a popular touristic place and now the country is almost as visit by the Chinese as Australia is. This can be a good idea to increase the traffic through your agency or bring visitors to your hotels.
You must know some websites if you want to establish yourself in the industry. These do not sell tickets or night hotel but its platforms offer to agencies, such as yours, to be referencing and to be classified that Chinese can compare directly with other (such as Skyscanner or EasyJet). They support travel and airline agency and give them access to a huge community that already has confidence in its services. A great bargain!
Thus, we discover Ctrip, that employs more than 8,000 employees. Qunar, the new application of Baidu which in terms of market share and traffic is unbeatable. ELong, the last of the family which is about to give up the ghost. All these platforms offer customers to interact with each other after their trip.
These sites which are more becoming powerful than ever can allow you to quickly increase your sales. That is why we think recording your hotel, your seaside station, restaurant or your business is more than necessary to succeed in the market. We have over 40% of our customers working in the tourism sector, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.