How to Attract Chinese Tourists All Year Round

How to Attract Chinese Tourists All Year Round

China sends more tourists abroad than any other country in the world. Yet only 5% of its 1.36 billion population have passports.

What’s more, those included in that 5% have earned China the No.1 position for tourists’ overseas spending.  Last year alone the Chinese spent a whopping $155 billion abroad.

As you can imagine, the potential for future growth is monumental.

How can you tap into that?

1. Know your Chinese tourist

Currently, there are two key groups: (1) China’s wealthy (2) China’s students.

(1) China’s wealthy

The majority of Chinese travellers are China’s wealthiest citizens.  On average, the annual household income for this group is approximately 250,000 RMB ($39,784), which is far above the average annual income of 49,920 RMB ($8083).

These are the people spending big abroad, looking for nothing other than luxury and leisure.  They spare no expense.

In fact, in 2013 Chinese tourists were the top spenders on hotel accommodation in four countries – New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands and Japan.

(2) China’s Students

China’s students can be divided into two groups.

The first are those studying long-term abroad. These students have often come from China’s elite and like the wealthy families they come from, money is usually no object.

Chinese relatives and friends are using their guanxi (personal connections) with this group, and treating them like personal shoppers.

In 2012, more than 60% of Chinese luxury shoppers made at least some of their purchases abroad.

Why? Luxury Western products are cheaper abroad than they are in China, and when the Chinese buy abroad, they know they are definitely buying the real thing.

According to a China Luxury Advisors 2012 survey, 74% of Chinese students in New York and Boston were asked for advice on luxury purchases.  Also, more than 30% purchased luxury goods to take home quarterly.

The other student type are short-term. They have often been sent abroad by their families during a school holiday, commonly for educational purposes.  Similarly to the long-term students, these too may be willing to splurge large amounts of cash.

Another short-term tourist may be a 背包客 (bei bao ke).  Also known as a Chinese backpacker, which is a rising trend.

As with Western backpackers, these too are looking to see new things and experience something different, but they are willing to pay for it.

The US-China Business Council reported, “Chinese backpackers are willing to spend more … they want more personalised services, such as global positioning systems and specially trained tour guides.”

2. Know your Chinese holidays

There are key times during which these groups travel:

Cher & SiChinese New Year – Usually falls in late January or early February.  Technically lasts about one week, but many places remain closed for two weeks.

Chinese National Day Golden Week – The first week of October.  Lasts one week.

– Winter and Summer Holidays – Students receive one month holiday in the winter (January/February) and two months holiday in the summer (July/August)

Chinese employees also receive 5-10 days annual leave.

The Chinese government has been encouraging more people to take holidays by reinforcing existing regulations concerning annual leave.  This increases the likeliness that there will there be a growing number of Chinese tourists, and it could mean that Chinese tourists travel for a longer period of time.

What’s more, China has an incredible amount of short holidays, which are also being used for short trips.  These include Qing Ming Festival (beginning of April), the Dragon Boat Festival (usually in June) and the mid-Autumn Festival (between September and October).

3. Engage

Each of these times and festivals have significant and diverse cultural meanings for the Chinese.

Centralise them, their world and what they’re thinking at that particular time of the year in your marketing.  Social media can play a key role in this.

Research shows that online is integral to Chinese travellers at all stages of their holiday, whether it’s planning, booking or travelling.

Although internet penetration in China is still at less than 50%, China are the most sociallCher & Si 2y engaged people on Earth.  500 million access the internet via their mobiles and more than 90% of internet users have a social media account.

Social media is key, but so is your website and the medium you’re using.  If you’re not using a Chinese web domain, or you’re website isn’t in Chinese, then you’re probably not providing these travellers a comfortable user experience.

Engage them. Simplify the process. Make your medium Chinese.

Day-in-day-out, this is what we do here at syENGAGE.  Contact us now and reach out to the Asian marketplace.

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