A quick google search on the Chinese outbound traveller will produce a plethora of reports on the size and nature of this new emerging market.
The reason for this explosion of interest is not surprising. According to the UN World Tourism Organisation, the Chinese are now the world’s biggest spenders on international tourism, splashing out $102 billion in 2012—a 40% increase on the previous year.
Dig a little deeper and you will find some interesting myth busting facts too. Yes, the Chinese are big spenders. According to Visit Britain the Chinese are among the top three spenders when they visit Britain, spending an average of £405 per head. But did you know that Independent travel is more popular than group travel? According to Hotels.com’s second annual Chinese International Travel Monitor survey results suggests that 62% of Chinese travellers prefer to travel independently. This appears to be backed up by hoteliers who reported that 70% of their Chinese guests were not in groups, a 20% increase on the previous year.
So which ever report you read (and I warn you there are quite a few to choose from!) the evidence is clear. The challenge is how do you react to this rapidly emerging market? Perhaps you are wondering why your competitors appear to more effective than you in tapping into this market, there are 5 areas that I suggest you start to think about:
1. Is your website available in the Chinese language? Don’t worry about the difference
between Cantonese and Mandarin, the two different dialects share the same written form.
2. How is your website ranked on China’s premier search engine Baidu.com? If your website is only available in English, the answer is probably not very well.
3. What is your social media presence like in China? If you think Facebook and Twitter will do it for you, I am afraid you will need to think again…., these sites are heavily restricted in China. The closest equivalents are called Renren and Weibo.
4. Do you have a PR agency to ensure that the media, and in particular the travel trade media, are promoting your products and services into the Chinese market?
5. Do you have a sales representation team ready to promote you to the travel trade? There are 10 different travel trade shows in China alone. There is a very good chance your competitors are there, and if they’re not, there’s a great chance for you to steal a march on them.
Perhaps you have already thought about all the above (and could add a further five items to this list!) but you don’t know where to start. China Travel Outbound would love to help you.
For more information or a quote, please contact Helena Beard at [email protected]
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