Quality – Satisfaction – Recommendation – Yield

Sustainable success with the Chinese outbound tourism source market in the post-pandemic era



The ADVANTAGE: TOURISM Recovery and Resilience Programme provides practical advice and support to prepare for the post-pandemic times: Overcoming the still existing challenges of Climate Change, Overtourism, and Seasonality with a new sustainable approach to re-start working with the Chinese outbound tourism source market, the biggest in the world.

The ADVANTAGE: TOURISM Programme offers the knowledge, tools and support needed to use the opportunity of changing needs and demands of the post-pandemic wave of Chinese travellers for sustainable and successful business development.

  • Concentrating on quality, satisfaction, recommendation and yield, destinations and service providers can attract Chinese outbound travellers who stay longer, spend more and give recommendations to their peers, based on better-adapted services for the different Chinese source market segments.
  • Concentrating on training and empowerment of all stakeholders provides the opportunity to save spending big amounts of money on Chinese social media marketing with dubious results.

Now is the time to join Turespaña and other stakeholders including an NTO, to provide Meaningful Tourism.

  • Chinese outbound tourism before the pandemic has basically been a failure for most destinations.
  • Moving down a blind alley of high arrival numbers, low yield, and low levels of satisfaction for the visitors and the hosts, traditional source markets have been pushed aside, overtourism with a strong concentration on the main destinations, the main sights, and the main season gave Chinese visitors a bad name in many places.
  • Destinations and service providers have concentrated their funds and efforts on marketing instead of product adaptation, resulting in low-quality perception by the Chinese visitors, moving from one fashionable destination to the next in quick succession.
  • Growth without adaptation created the need for change before CoViD-19. The pandemic has provided an opportunity for a more successful encounter with the Chinese market.


NOW is the time to prepare for the new wave of Chinese outbound travellers. Almost 70% of Chinese are eager to travel internationally again as soon as visa and air connections become available again and it is perceived to be safe to travel again.

Chinese gained in 2020 much more information after one year of looking at videos from different places.

The competition will be strong, as especially in the beginning airlines, hotels etc. will give provide attractive offers around the world to attract customers to get back into the business.


  • The pre-pandemic situation of overtourism, high levels of seasonality, low margins and less than satisfied guests, staff members and locals in the host destinations needs to be replaced by a sustainable approach
  • The level of demand is increasing. Different segments of the Chinese outbound source market expect products and services adapted to their specific needs and interests
  • Paid-for social media messages are losing their appeal for Chinese visitors who look for authentic recommendations by their peers instead of advertisements by celebrities
  • The decline of package tour group travel makes it necessary to establish new distribution channels

Benefits of being prepared

  • Satisfied Chinese visitors, spending more money, visiting more different places at more different times of the year, recommending destinations and services to their peers based on carefully adapted and digitalised products
  • The advantage over competing destinations by being better prepared for the new post-CoViD-19 wave of Chinese outbound travellers
  • Satisfied tourism service providers, able to provide full-time employments and realising sustainable margins
  • Satisfied staff members, welcoming Chinese visitors
  • Satisfied local inhabitants, having meaningful interactions with Chinese visitors
  • Satisfied governments, creating jobs and increasing tax income
  • Satisfactory usage of local environmental resources
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute CEO Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS
Trend Transfer CEO Richard Adam
Stocastic.World CEO Dr. Rudy Snippe
Landways International CEO Gazmend Haxhia


PLANET CEO Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands Pascal Beij
TENCENT Cloud International Sales Director Hayden Huang
TCI Research CEO Olivier Henry-Biabaud
GTS Altitude CEO Neil Stubbings


ADVANTAGE: TOURISM provides a full-service approach to re-start Chinese outbound tourism in a successful and sustainable way.

It is built in a modular way, which allows projects to be of a duration of just a few months or several years, of providing trainings, insights and recommendation, but if wished-for also all steps of implementation, counselling and permanent improvement.

After each step, the decision to continue or to terminate the project is possible.

The experiences of ADVANTAGE: TOURISM in working with the Chinese market can be used to use similar tools for other, especially Asian, source markets.

As standard products, three versions are offered, other configurations are also possible.

ADVANTAGE: TOURISM Pilot:                                                Modules 1 – Foundation-laying programme

One year ADVANTAGE: TOURISM program:                     Modules 1+2 – Development and implementation programme

Two-year ADVANTAGE: TOURISM Program:                    Modules 1-4 – Improvement and Leadership in Gaining Top position in selected market and product segment

Stabilization ADVANTAGE: TOURISM program:              Module 5 – Further improvement, possible translation for other markets


Getting Ready, Moving from Marketing to Quality Product:

  • Analysis and Audit of existing situation
  • Development of Best practice examples of new Products and Services
  • Establishment of organisational structure: Public-Private Task force
  • Kick-off workshop


Implementation, Moving from Strategy to Action to receive the first wave of Chinese visitors

  • Certification for successful training participants
  • Individual support for product adaptation and product development
  • Implementation of digitalisation incl. mobile payment systems
  • Start Recommendation Marketing based branding campaign
  • Establishment of communication and distribution channels for adapted products
  • Support of recommendation marketing


Improvement, Implementing insights from the first wave to attract the second wave of Chinese visitors

  • Analysis of experiences and feedback of the first wave
  • Training and Empowerment of a wider range of local stakeholders
  • Further product adaptation and development
  • Improvement of communication and distribution channels for adapted and new products
  • Conference on ADVANTAGE: TOURISM Result and next steps
  • Development relations with the Chinese market (city partnerships, art/music festivals, university cooperation etc.)


Leadership, Gaining Top Position in a selected market and product segments

  • Analysis of experiences and feedback of the second wave
  • Specialised Training and Empowerment for leading groups of local stakeholders
  • Establishment of Best-in-class services and products for a specific market and product segments
  • Stabilization of communication and distribution channels for adapted and new product
  • Adding additional communication and distribution channels
  • Task Forces for Best-of-Class products and services
  • Review and fine-tuning of KPIs
  • The third wave of Chinese visitors
  • Improvement of host perception of Chinese guests


Next innovation cycle, Sustainable growth and development

  • Reaction to new development in source market
  • Ongoing training, empowerment, and innovation process
  • Next innovation activities
  • IndependentTask Force groups activities
  • Translation and transformation experiences with the Chinese market for other source markets


Starting in 2020, COTRI is supporting Turespaña in re-starting the Chinese Outbound tourism market. The first pilot ADVANTAGE: TOURISM project started in February 2021

Selected COTRI Customers of previous years


Meaningful Tourism refers to a new approach for the post-pandemic development of global tourism. It is a new paradigm aiming at advancing the existing concepts of sustainable and responsible tourism. It changes the predominantly supply-side and often negative perspective of Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Tourism towards a demand-side and more balanced perspective, promoting tourism that is meaningful for all stakeholders involved:

  • For tourists to gain new experiences and to increase their knowledge about themselves and about others.
  • For host communities to have more influence on tourism development and to benefit instead of suffering from visitors.
  • For the staff of tourism and hospitality service providers to offer full-time career jobs, good quality service, and meaningful activities.
  • For governments to gain employment opportunities for their citizens, increased tax income, and support of friendly international relations.
  • For the environment through encouragement for all stakeholders to be careful and more interested, causing no or at least less damage locally, and to push for non-polluting forms of mobility globally.

Advancing tourism after CoViD-19 needs to find answers to the challenges which already existed before: Climate Change, Overtourism, Seasonality, quantitative growth without sufficient management, concentration on marketing instead of hospitality and quality. Advancing tourism after CoViD-19 needs to add qualitative Key Performance Indicators to quantitative KPIs and to offer better-adapted services for different market segments to thrive in the new tourism market of the 2020s. Advancing tourism based on satisfaction offers recommendation marketing through satisfied customers. Peer recommendations for successfully adapted offers are the strongest tool to start a constant stream of customers from China.

Satisfaction as a key element requires embeddedness, the feeling of being truly welcome, requires detailed knowledge about the demand side and consequently the development and adaptation of products.

Satisfaction initiates recommendations to peers. This is especially important in China, as marketing and advertisements are perceived as propaganda, and KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) command less trust than in earlier times, as they are perceived as being paid for their recommendations. KOCs (Key Opinion Customers) are the more successful new tool to support recommending to peers, via WeChat, live streaming, or short videos. Satisfaction resulting in recommendation means that less budget is needed to pay for Chinese agencies doing Social Media marketing in China with a little measurable result. Instead, money can be spent on the empowerment of the local tourism industry through trainings and support of product adaptation and digitalisation.

Contact us

Or reach out to us here:

Tel: +49 40 84 50 85 31

August 6th, 15:00 –17:00 h Beijing time / 9:00 –11:00 h Berlin time

The GITF Guangzhou International Tourism Fair 2021 is conducted from August 5-7 in a hybrid form.