Strategic Report for Global Hospitality CEOs Who Want to Target Chinese Travelers

Do you work in the hospitality industry and wanted to target China or Chinese Travellers? This report is for you. 

Feel the perspective of the Chinese Travel / Hospitality Market

It is already several years Chinese outbound tourism remains growing steadily with an impressive score. Economic slowdown should be strongly affected this trend but looks like adventure’s thirst of those who remained home sitters for a long time seems to be insatiable.

140 million trips abroad

According to the Chinese Academy of Tourism in 2018 Chinese tourists made 140 million trips abroad what is up to 13,5% more than in 2017.

Taking into account the fact that for now only 10% of Chinese poses the foreign passport in comparison to 40% of Americans and 76% of Britons, predicted figures of outbound tourism growth become even more staggering. UNVTO claims that by 2030 China will take the fourth part of all international tourism. If with this also consider, that currently Chinese are spending a quarter of trillion dollars abroad (what is, for example, almost 2 times more than the 2nd ranked citizens of US), it is not surprising then that even most conservative representatives of worlds’ touristic and leisure business are seeking for the ways of catching Chinese attention.

Here we want to share with you the best strategies of how to attract Chinese tourists. But before to start we wish you to realize, that your Asian clients are already live in theirs’s new digital world. China is changing fast, the rivalry is very high and for now “In China, it is not the biggest fish who survive… it is the smartest and fastest one”.

  1. Move into the Chinese online space 

If you still don’t have a website in Chinese, go in this direction: you will dive into the Chinese digital world and realize its full growth potential, it will give you the freedom for attracting your clients with your own source. Soon you will learn “the rules of the game” and begin to use your resources very efficiently. You will no longer be needed to look for Chinese partners’ attention, later they will find you by themselves.

For your new Chinese website is needed:

  • Hosting in China (or Hong Kong) to improve its speed
  • High-quality photography
  • A brief summary of the area, with highlights of important places
  • Information about recreation and outdoor activities
  • Guides to arts and culture, including museums, theaters, and other attractions
  • Packing tips
  • Maps and guides
  • Public transport/airport information

How to be Attractive to Chinese Travelers?

To become even more online attractive, we strongly recommend you use high-quality video content. The world is moving towards 5G. In China the internet is everywhere, mobile packages are cheap and its users like to be entertained. Here video content is a big help: it creates a sense of presence and highlights the natural beauty of your destinations, therefore, making your content much more engaging.

Learn more experience from the French elite touring agency Aiguemarine

  1. Optimize yourself for mobile 

Chinese are extremely phone addicted, averagely they spend more than 3 hours a day on their mobile devices. In China, Most consumer markets are already online or switching to this space and this is the most intelligent and cheapest way to reach your potential clients.

  1. Provide mobile payments: the new hospitality Standard 

Alipay and WeChat are widespread methods of payment in China. Besides the world is just adapting, providing this option of payment also means having a great advantage over those companies who are still on this way.

93% of Chinese tourists would consider using mobile payments

According to Nielsen’s survey, 93% of Chinese tourists would consider using mobile payments when traveling overseas if more overseas merchants would accept mobile payments in the future, while 91% would show greater willingness to spend and shop if overseas merchants accept Chinese mobile payment brands.

Alipay and WeChat are sharing 72% of all mobile payments in China.

Chinese prefer to choose tourist companies that can make their life easier. Cross-border payment means that your client can not only pay for service directly from China mainland but also can pay for additional services, purchases, and souvenirs right at the local destination. Here is a big advantage for those companies, who are proposing cross-border payments locally, as the Chinese are impulsive money spenders. With native kinds of payments, they don’t need to stick with some exact spending plans, as in this case, their trip budgets are not somehow limited from what they could spend or in case of need they can just simply ask their friends for a favor.

We can help you to set up cross-border payments

  1. Know needs and be aware of how they’re changing

 Chinese tourists are very different from westerners. Their priorities and expectations in traveling are also changing very quickly. The key point to succeed here is to study their culture and be aware of how they’re changing.

  • Less sun

Chinese mainly don’t like or even avoid sunbathing. In their culture white skin is a symbol of aristocracy, wealth, and youth. On resorts or on the beaches they are using a lot of sun protecting crèmes, umbrellas or cover themselves with clothes.

  • More food options

 Despite the Chinese becoming more open-minded and would like to experience local cuisine, they still appreciate a feeling of home. Instead of a European breakfast, Chinese travelers may want a bowl of congee. Perhaps they will prefer a roasted chicken with rice over spaghetti and meatballs. Of course, they will prefer to eat their native food with chopsticks. Chinese are also drinking a lot of hot water or tea. They are quite often carrying a small thermos with hot water or tea inside, even if it is hot. To satisfy the desire for hot water many hotels propose to their Chinese clients kettles for boiling water accompanied by tea bags. 

  • Nature’s Experiences

 As Chinese tourists become more travel experience, they are choosing destinations, that could propose wild nature and peaceful landscapes. Currently, China’s outbound tourism for far destinations is dominating citizens from 1st tier cities. They would like to switch from a polluted, urbanized, and stressful environment and recharge on their holidays. With this is growing their desire to visit destinations with natural landscapes.

Hospitality Forum Mafengwo

Precise targeting for accommodation

Currently, Chinese priorities in accommodation are changing visibly. Those tourists who are enough experienced and searching for unique destinations are no longer obsessed with staying in expensive hotels, moreover due to the homestay application market development, now for them, it is much easier to compare prices and choose advantageous options. Generally, the trend of staying in luxurious hotels is slightly going down even among wealthy family travelers. This pushes expensive hotel chains to search for new marketing approaches and cooperate with Chinese KOLs and media. However, there are huge opportunities for combining luxury and authenticity. Wealthy multigenerational independently traveled Chinese families could be targeted well if propose extended recreational and food service for elderlies, nature experiences for the younger, and entertainment for the youth.

Convenient shopping and a variety of souvenirs

 Chinese largely spend much more money shopping in Asian destinations like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macao. However, they also don’t mind buying luxury goods in Europe mainly because of relatively smaller prices, the desire to experience local shopping, and fewer chances to get counterfeit items. What they would really want to bring from local destinations are souvenirs. As they are extremely connected, they often buy souvenirs for many of their friends. It would be good to help them in their shopping by providing useful information, maps, guides, and transportation options.

  1. Propose a unique experience with customized tours

Today the older generation of Chinese is still choosing large group tours and prefers to strongly stick with their native agencies. They are budget-oriented and make their choice between the most famous destinations. The younger generation is switching to traveling with friends, and families, in pairs or independently. According to the latest studies, many of them are searching for unique travel experiences and becoming less obsessed with luxury around. A lot of industry reviewers predict that package tours among Chinese will be less popular. However, according to studies, those agencies who will combine unique travel experiences with luxury will definitely succeed. High-end package tours are on the rise now as the Chinese want to experience more unforgettable impressions.

  1. Hospitality basic: Provide services in “Chinese”

Chinese very much appreciate being welcomed and supported by their own language abroad. Leaflets, guides, or better mobile-friendly content that they will use on the go will be a great help for them. In addition, there is another significant reason why a Chinese-speaking person in your agency might be a great help.

If you have ever experienced speaking with Chinse, probably you noticed, that mostly, even if they have enough level of English for communication, they are not trying to use it as much as they can to be understood or just to keep the conversation going. Yes, they are quite shy in speaking with foreigners, but the real reason here lies much deeper than you might think before. Chinese are extremely afraid to fail and show no competency, which is connected to their concept of the face: “Mengzi”. At first glance, it may sound very sweaty to you, but sometimes this lack of communication could potentially create a disaster for any kind of business.

Tourist from Europe will always tell you directly what he likes or not likes, would like to have, or just improve, it is the very common and absolutely normal way of communication between the client and their service. But sometimes not the case if your client is from China. If your Asian tourist will feel shy to speak with you in English when he or she will be experiencing a real problem, just believe us, you will always know about that, but…later and from your partnering tour company or even worse – from Chinese social media.

We are always recommending those who are serious about the hospitality business with Chinese have a Mandarin or Cantonese-speaking staff in their company.


It is all ready for several years and seems like in the next decade the Chinese touristic market will remain one of the most (if not the most) potentially profitable. It is not the place for slow and conservative companies or those who want to get results without investments. The best strategies for succeeding there in the future will be based on the combination of travel experience uniqueness, authenticity, luxury, and customization.

Be Fast, Be Smart, Be Adoptive and you will win!

Article Realized by Alex Gabriel

Another post from Mr. Gabriel here

Leave the first comment