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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Forget CNY, You Need to Start Planning for the Summer Holidays NOW

Hello destination leaders,

In case you didn’t know, it’s almost Chinese New Year and global destinations are lining up for a piece of what will be the busiest period of Chinese travel ever. Last year 6.2 million Chinese traveled abroad during CNY, this year it’s expected to be as many as 6.5 million. Needless to say, it’s the most significant period of the year, particularly for short-haul travel.

Why short haul?

Markets like South East Asia have beautiful weather at this time of year, they offer incredible shopping, food, and an abundance of quality hotels to enjoy. Not to mention the beaches. As such, it’s an unusually expensive period. Many travelers book over 6 months in advance and by 2 months before the holiday, the prices to visit short-haul destinations are more than triple, with long-haul likely to be twice as expensive as their regular price.

Timing is everything.

If you’re not planning your engagement strategy at least 90 days out from peak holiday period you’re too late and you’ll be relying on your current reputation and discoverability.

For long-haul travel, particularly the US, the peak period is the summer holidays (July-August), when you can expect to see the height of Chinese visitors to cities everywhere.

So although your Chinese New Year approach has come and gone, regardless of what you do now, it’s unlikely you’ll impact any CNY travel. For long-haul destinations, it’s time to focus on driving consideration for the summer holidays.

Have we talked about planning?

Planning is an issue we’ve been talking for years. So much so that we invested in our own platform (KAWO) to help streamline the process and ensure the tier 1 activities of destinations are properly accounted for with enough lead time. The image below shows a snapshot of the major activities new to NYC in the month of July 2018.

So for example, in NYC, we can see activities in July/August include:

Restaurant week

Lincoln festival

Shakespeare in the Park

Broadway in Bryant Park

Asian American Film festival

Celebrate Brooklyn

And much more!

There’s a lot of great activities going on in NYC over the summer months that give us a body of content to begin mapping out itineraries, videos, and local UGC to help illustrate the fun travelers will have over summer in NYC. If we want to influence travelers who have yet to commit to their summer holiday plans we’ll be releasing summer holiday content directly following CNY for a period up to 60 days before the travel period.

So in summary, don’t fret on CNY, it’s already too late but start to consider the summer holidays and remember:

Post content at least 90+ days before the travel period

Make it rich with content, itineraries, images, descriptions

Provide support on WeChat for deeper questions and featured posts

Partner with booking agents, airlines, hotels

Ensure your members/stakeholders are on board and ready

And finally, for a deeper look at how we plan for destination marketing in China, take a look at this case study and see why NYC has the richest engagement of any US-led destinationThanks Bern 😉

Good luck.

Andrew Collins CEO + 86 134 0208 1987


Mailman X is a China digital consulting agency for the travel industry. Reach out here for more info.

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