Tapping into growing markets - What Chinese Tourists want. Despite a relatively low travel propensity, in absolute terms the Chinese represent the worlds biggest travel nation, with nearly 100 million tourists visiting foreign countries last year. Despite the big opportunities for growth that tourism from China offers to destinations, tapping into this market comes with a variety of challenges.
A recent survey by Tourism Research Australia on the viewpoints of Chinese visitors to Australia provides an in-depth insight into what this growing sector of every tourist board’s market want and expect. It was little surprise that the research found value for money, as well as shopping opportunities to be at the top of the list of Chinese travellers’ priorities.
DIGITAL TRAVEL BEHAVIOUR OF CHINESE NETIZENS
But what about the digital behaviour of Chinese travellers? A report by Wonderful Copenhagen’s research department provides an in-depth view on the digital intricacies of this market segment. Destinations that want to attract Chinese travellers need to address the differences in Chinese online behaviour within their digital strategies.
One of the biggest differences lies within the online search strategies that Chinese tourists apply. Firstly, they use a different set of search engines (e.g. Baidu, 360 Qihoo), which pose a new set of challenges on search engine optimisation. Secondly, in travel planning, Chinese tourists tend to make use of broad, generic travel platforms especially in the inspiration and awareness stage. Destination websites are used generally more for detailed planning.
HIGH TRUST IN SOCIAL MEDIA
In the early stages of the decision making process, Chinese travellers often rather revert to social media. Not only do they put great trust into recommendations on social channels, but they are also highly receptive to social media content produced by companies. In fact, 85% of Chinese consumers view the Internet as the most influential channel, and 95% of Chinese consumers put more trust in a company that is engaged and active on Weibo (a popular Chinese social network). So, destinations are advised to open presences on Chinese social media, in order to engage with Chinese consumers at the early stages of their decision making, and thereby drive traffic to the destination’s website.
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