Meet the new breed of Chinese tourist, part 2 of 3

At 2014 Queenstown Winter Festival capturing the stories for our audience
Last time we met Jiani Wu, founder of Zeayou
, a service for the new and emerging market of FITs (Free Independent Travellers) from China. 

If you haven’t seen that blog post, read it here.

In this post, we continue the interview with Jiani. 

3. What makes an FIT different from the Chinese travellers NZ has typically had?

It’s time consuming to plan a trip and people opt for a tour group to let a professional agent take care of the trip. But the FITs are more likely to be better at planning or sometimes they even enjoy planning their trips.

Throughout the process, they get to know more about the history, geography and stories of a country, which is fascinating by itself (before the internet was invented, I used to collect and read a lot of Lonely Planet country guides).

The FITs have to have a bigger budget and more time to spend in New Zealand. They’re also more likely to actively participate in paid activities, given they’re more curious about a new place or a new activity.

4. How do FITs make buying decisions about where they will travel?

They gather a lot of information from various sources months before the trip (more likely from websites and social media). We have customers enquiring about activities 7-8 months before their departure.

They also start to follow (on social media) people who live and have travelled in New Zealand online. ZeaYou’s weekly articles about New Zealand travelling tips and our real travel stories have now attracted a lot of travellers.

Also, because the FITs research for their trips, they shop around for the best prices before they buy. To reduce uncertainties, they would book and confirm (and re- confirm) before they start the trip.

Stay tuned for next time, when we ask for Jiani’s top 3 tips for New Zealand tourism operators. 

Meanwhile, if you want to keep up to date on the latest happenings on Chinese social media, subscribe to our weekly YouTube update, #thisweekinweibo

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