Four inactions that will NOT bring you Chinese customers to your travel business
- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 20th August 2015
- china, marketing, outbound, tourism
China is the biggest tourism source market in the world. 62 million Chinese crossed the border in the first half of 2015. Chinese outbound travellers move from sightseeing to experience, from brands to lifestyle. They can be attracted to new products, new places, new activities, new times of the year, bringing not only more, but a different kind of business – if they feel welcome and offered products according to their specific needs and expectations.
Here COTRI presents four basic shortcomings that will put Chinese tourists off your business.
- Lack of a cohesive marketing strategy
‘You need to have clear distinctive branding. If you look at destinations that are successful, the branding they have is clear, distinctive, compelling and believable.’
Glenn McCartney, an assistant professor of gaming and hospitality management at the University of Macau, affirmed that the transition from a gaming-dependent to a leisure and entertainment model in the former Portuguese colony is jeopardised by the lack of a cohesive marketing strategy and tourism masterplan from the government.
Professor Arlt, director of COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute explains further: ‘Macau’s gaming industry is learning a hard lesson about the Chinese consumer. More than other markets large parts of market segments follow the trend of what is hot and what is not. So the seemingly unending growth can abruptly turn south if it goes out of fashion to buy a certain product or go to a certain destination’.
- Not to be present on Chinese social networks
Social media channels in China are different to those we are used to in the Western world. 65% of Chinese consumers use Weibo, 87% use Baidu and 90% use WeChat. However, only 39% of Western luxury brands have a WeChat account.
In addition, 80% of Chinese travellers have used an electronic device such as a mobile phone, desktop or laptop to plan and book travel in 2014.
Both statistics combined show that not to be present in Chinese social media results in a product being invisible for the fastest growing consumer market in the world.
The internet will likely be the biggest advertising medium in the 12 largest economies by 2016.
- Not to speak their language.
‘The tourism industry should tailor services for tourists from China to help make up for slowing visitor numbers’, said Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and for National Development of Singapore.
He affirmed that hotels as well as food and beverage businesses should customise their product for tourists from China. He emphasized that they should have employees who can speak Mandarin and recommend places of interest.
Many hotel brands still lack a fully Chinese-language booking experience – only 55 percent of brands offer comprehensive Chinese-language options throughout their entire site.
- To be outdated
Australia’s hotels and resorts and their customer service are absent from Tripadvisor’s list of the world’s best. Old, worn-out hotels and poor customer service are a drag for capitalizing on the booming Chinese travel market to Australia.
The reason is that major investments were directed to the juicy mining industry, resulting in potential attractions such as Sydney’s Darling Harbor getting stuck in the 20th century. ‘Chinese visitors aren’t going to come here for hotels and resorts built in the 1980s and 1990s’, former Prime Minister Paul Keating said. ‘They will drift off to bigger and better things, along the lines of what’s being done in China itself and in countries like Vietnam.’
China’s outbound tourism market is developing fast and in a very different way compared to other global tourism source markets like Europe, the USA or Japan. Individual preferences are strongly connected and influenced by group-orientated processes, both for leisure and business travel.
COTRI – China Outbound Tourism Research Institute – is the world’s leading independent research institute for information, training, quality assessment, research and consultancy relating to the Chinese outbound tourism market. COTRI follows the development of the demands of Chinese travellers and helps companies and destinations to have influence all along the customers journey: from the development of the image of a destination or service within a specific market segment to the decision making, the booking, the actual experiences during the trip and the memories and messages after the trip.
Read more: China pledges more reform on tourism development
Photo:Xuan Zheng, flickr