Photo: Jaume Escofet, Flickr
Task: Develop a new major resort project combining several hotels, second-home apartments, marina and gaming facilities in Southeast Europe for Chinese guests
COTRI Project time needed: Ten weeks
Result: Project focused on fitting market segments, developed to the level approach of suitable Chinese equity partners
Based on an on-site inspection by COTRI and a kick-off workshop discussing the current status of planning and the existing designs for buildings and rooms and landscape planning, the main questions for COTRI to answer were jointly developed:
- How feasible is the project in the current and future development of China‘s outbound tourism demand structure?
- How to position the project in terms of mental mapping and existing images of the region?
- Which Chinese market segments to address in which proportions for the different parts of the project (families, travel groups, FITs, gambler, corporate clients, customers interested in received permanent residency status, honeymoon couples, health tourists…)?
- What is the best possible proportion between Chinese and non-Chinese guests for the hotels and for the Condos?
- Forecasting which possible conflicts between market segments can arise and which strategies can be developed for avoidance of conflicts already in planning phase through layout and functionalities of project?
- Which level of integration of resort with hinterland and with other properties of the client is possible?
- Which competing offers are existing for the Chinese market in the region and worldwide?
- Based on the results how to identify and how to reach an agreement with Chinese equity partners for the project?
Afterwards COTRI started to carry out the project:
- Within six weeks after the kick-off workshop COTRI conducted market research in China and at headquarter in Germany using Desktop research including the extensive databases of COTRI and the regional COTRI Country Partners and other available external sources
- Data mining for a qualitative analysis of discussions in User Generated content in Chinese social media and professional content in Chinese published media about the image of the region, the activities involved, the positioning and mental mapping
- Expert interviews with several major players and experts in the Chinese outbound market in China and in Europe based on the intensive contacts and network of COTRI including the COTRI China Outbound Tourism Experts Panel (COTEP)
- Focus Groups to gather feedback for the project at current planning stage, to learn about the expectations and connotations for such a project with focus groups in 1st and 2nd tier cities with groups of participants with and without experience in Southeast Europe and with and without interest in Second Home ownership
All results were fully documented in English and provided the base for an intensive analysis work delivering clear answers to the market research questions and a complete and practical recommendation for the project development and for the identification and approach of suitable Chinese equity partners. The recommendations were discussed during a two-day strategy development on-site workshop ending this phase of the project.