A new report has identified key trends in the way Chinese tourists are choosing to travel and how marketing teams can tap into outbound tourism.
Some key patterns that emerged show that more Chinese are beginning to travel independently, while showing a deeper cultural awareness and understanding. As a result, these travellers are becoming more sophisticated in their product demands, thus creating more opportunities for niche and bespoke travel providers. For example, Chinese travellers are showing more interest in whiskey and wine tours.
Shifts in consumer behaviour also have major implications for the way in which the tourism industry will need to market to outbound Chinese tourists. The report also identifies some key consumption trends for marketers to gain access and more easily target this audience.
Potential Chinese customers are likely to be geographically concentrated in identifiable parts of the country and involved with particular social groups. They are also likely to have predictable media consumption habits such as reading specific titles and visiting themed websites,
With 36.2% Internet penetration in the country, concentrated in urban areas, online marketing is key. Chinese travellers will look online for information about destinations, hotels, and transport offerings, and are more likely to get their information through social media rather than official company websites. Online video sharing sites that offer videos of tourist destinations and traveller-generated blogs and microblogs are very popular and influential in the decision-making process for Chinese travellers.
Kevin Latham, Senior Lecturer at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and author of the report, said; “Social media is quick, influential and popular, and the travel industry has to take social media seriously. Used appropriately, the marketing potential is enormous and opens up opportunities for players at all levels. The key is attracting Chinese travellers to your venue, and if they love the experience, they will likely talk about it on social networking sites, which could result in huge visitor numbers.”
The report titled ‘How the Rise of Chinese Tourism will Change the Face of the European Travel Industry’, was written by the University of London’s SOAS and commissioned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts.