China is already the Number 1 outbound tourism market around the globe. Chinese tourists going out of China continue to arise by 17% to 20% every year and are expected to go up considerably, according to the China Tourism Academy. According to World Travel Organization, there will be 100 million Chinese travelling abroad by 2020. Most of them would stay in different hotels available worldwide. Studies from AC Nielsen shows that most Chinese tourists choose high levels of hotels to stay in: one in three of them will choose a 4-star hotel, while one tenth of them will choose a 5-star hotel when outbound.
The Chinese’ choice
Chinese choose hotels based on their own knowledge, those of their peers, promotions, and through the internet. Chinese tourists consider a lot of things before choosing a hotel, one is safety. Most Chinese travellers are going abroad for the first time, so their first priority would be their safety in the place they’re going to and, of course, the safety of the place they’ll be staying at.
Another factor usually considered by Chinese is the convenience in transportation. A large number of Chinese are not good in English; therefore a hotel with personal transport service or tour buses or the like is a huge plus in the Chinese market.
Price is also part of the points to consider. Chinese more than others look carefully at the prices even though they spend way more than the average person while on holidays. For instance, they go to Italy to shop luxury goods because of the lower prices of these said goods compared to the highly priced goods in mainland China; they do it the same way with hotels. Two hotels with basically the same services but different prices, they’ll go to the cheaper one instead.
How to be seen by the Chinese Market?
Have a Website in Chinese
Having a website in Chinese is the first action to be seen by the Chinese market. Most of the Chinese, cannot read nor understand basic English, but are very interested in travelling around the world. Make yourself be known and show that you can accommodate them with understanding them and letting them understand you.
Also, have your website hosted in China. It is important for Chinese to see your website to arouse interest, it must attract visitors by SEM or SEO, talk about your website on forums or on Chinese social networks.
Partner with local Chinese agencies or Multinational agencies in China
A huge number of Chinese travel in groups, due to many reasons:
- Language barrier. As mentioned above, Chinese travellers can barely speak English, so a guide would be ideal.
- Visa. Agencies take care of everything including obtaining a visa, which can often be a hassle to Chinese citizen for its complicated process.
- Fear. Most Chinese people only started travelling during the last decade, so travelling alone is never an option.
- Culture. In Chinese culture, people are used in doing things in groups.
- Price. Travelling with a travel agency in a large group is cheaper than travelling alone or small group and China is a very price sensitive society.
Talks among different agencies can make your hotel and website known, and can give you your first business. Agencies are generally hard to find, they have specific requirements and have been already working with contractors for years. Having strong media marketing is a must!
Internet in China is increasing its influence; both large and small brands use the internet to promote their businesses. Whether by direct promotion with banners or indirect via Buzzs or public relations, on-line communication has now become almost mandatory.
A low initial investment, ROI (Return on Investment) generally good and measurable, a wide range of media, interactivity with the customer, all these factors make on-line promotion a big factor in the Chinese tourism sector.
Using quality multimedia is a particularly effective tool in the travel industry. The tourist has to have a fantasy image of the country he will visit. Attractive pictures, videos of fantasy-like images are used by agencies to attract customers looking for a trip, but also to raise awareness about their vacation destination.
Internet influence on Chinese citizens has become vast and wide. The major part of Chinese Internet users spend time on is on social networks, like Weibo and WeiXin. Weibo is a mix between twitter and facebook, it combines the responsiveness of twitter, looking for information with the social and playful side of Facebook. WeiXin is like WhatsApp with a side of e-commerce marketing.
Doing PR in China is very important. It allows you to promote your service to a wide variety of Chinese citizens. This communication is primarily with rich visuals or feedbacks and testimonials from people who have visited the country.
Online Public relation in China and particularly in the travel industry is increasing at a rapid rate.
A new article on a Chinese site can be viewed tens of thousands of times.
Film and television are a media form of communication to inform Chinese public of your travel destination. A movie watched by millions of Chinese can make a lasting memory and do wonders. A hit TV series is the ultimate weapon which profoundly influences the mass public.
Today, film or other audiovisual, brands in the real emotional and identifiable by the consumer.
For example, a Chateau Lafite for special occasions, a Mac for professionals, and icecream Haagen-Dazs to seduce a beautiful girl, your hotel in a honeymoon scene – It was during a scene that the consumer thinks the best use of the product or in a place.
This discipline is called product placement, a marketing technique to maturity in the U.S. today, and progress in China. The cinema is a reflection of life, real life or the life that you would like to have. The spectator believes what he sees.
Many companies help shape this reality and allow the director to create his fictional universe.
There are a lot of agencies that help companies, including hotels, regarding communication solutions with the Chinese target.
We, the Gentlemen Marketing Agency, can help you connect your company to China, and create solutions in attracting this Chinese market. If you have a serious project, please contact us directly for further information or see our references here.
National Tourism Administration of China – http://en.cnta.gov.cn/