• Andrew Collins

How Destination Marketers Can Attract Chinese Tourists

One of the most commonly asked things by DMOs is this fairly simple question –  How can I make my destination more suitable for the typical Chinese traveler?

Last year, nearly 2mn Chinese visitors arrived in the US, up 21% over 2013. Industry officials expect to record another 25%-30% increase this year, about 50% higher than previous growth projections for 2015, Chinese travelers are becoming some of the most desirable visitors that destinations need to prepare for.  

After spending a considerable amount of time traveling back and forth on long haul flights to the US, the amount of simple things destinations can do to set themselves apart from other places still amazes me.

Here are 3 general tips “China-tize” your destination

Understand local cultural norms and adapt

Chinese people love parasols on hot sunny days, they love their set of slippers in the hotel room, and believe it or not, they miss Chinese food even when they travel. A few extra dollars in your marketing budget to service to Chinese travelers goes a long way. Chinese are strong word of mouth travelers so any extra steps that you take will have them buzzing to their friends and family on…

Social Media

WeChat now has over 600 million active users per month. Guess what? My mom, my grandma, my clients, my friend’s coworker, and even my ayi are all on it and they are all considered part of my friendship social circle.  The power of social media couldn’t be more apparent in China.  Sina Weibo is where I find my inspiration and news, WeChat is where I can connect with those close to me.  As a destination, you can find out how many people are already talking about you in market, as KAWO intelligence reports can give a highly valuable snapshot of your readiness for China.  And if you can’t do that…

Get localized

By living in China since 1997, I can tell you that 2015 China has considerably more people that can speak and read English.  However, don’t take this observation and degrade how important localized language can be for Chinese people traveling in the US.  You can safely say, 50% of all Chinese travelers still cannot even speak English especially when you skew towards tier 2 or tier 3 travelers or the elderly.  Having localized travel maps, guides, and menus in Chinese can go a long way to keep customers comfortable and coming back to your destination.

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