Tips for attracting chinese tourists

May 2, 2017

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What experiences captivate the visitors of the country with more inhabitants in the world? There are those who are attracted to cities like Rome and Madrid where they find unique gifts, such as jewel with high value and design.

They like to go out and look for luxury watches and then go to lunch or dinner. And undoubtedly the food is an attraction for these visitors, since they consider it more than a quick way to know the idiosyncrasy of a country. For them it is a  communication system and celebration. Hence the Chinese greet each other by saying “Hi, have you eaten already?”

Dreams come true
For Chinese culture, traveling is like turning dreams into reality. That is why they study the itinerary and destinations well before embarking. They seek help from their acquaintances and relatives, but truly rely on the  information they gather through the most popular social networks.

The Chinese tourist is very sensitive to the cultural attributes and the consumption experiences in restaurants and hotels of quality.

One thing to keep in mind is that women are educated in a family environment that distinguishes work at home, so when they are outside their country they are curious about the elaboration of famous dishes. That is why it is well received that place,  kitchen or hotel, where attention is paid to these details. Being close to the chef or letting them touch the ingredients is a privilege they will value and it serves to build trust.

For them the pork is a special dish. They know sausages and hams, but they use them to cook other dishes like stews and sautéed and not as final food. The pork should be well cooked, cut into small pieces to easily take with the chopsticks, although nowadays everyone knows how to use the western cutlery.

The internet realm
Perhaps it is not known that China is the leading country in number of Internet profiles with more than 600 million Internet users. This numbers means that social networking is one of the best ways to communicate with potential Chinese customers.
A tourist services company should bet to insert  content in the main Chinese wikis, as well as in the video channels  Tudou, Youku and 56.com.
The main Chinese search engine is  Baidu, something like a “Chinese Google”, which has 80% market share in search engine revenue in China. Positioning in this search engine is vital if you want to reach the citizens of this country.

An action that generates traffic and knowledge about the destinations to which we want to attract the Chinese tourists, is to assemble a specialized media but with translation to Mandarin. Something like what PanoSpain did (Panorama España), an independent media specialized  in content about Spain. They offer articles written by bloggers, with news, gastronomy, culture and art. It is based on  WeChat, a social network that brings together 500 million users.

Today social networks occupy a large part of the daily lives of the Chinese and help them to stay connected within the most populous country in the world. A real opportunity for destinations is to enter this world and generate tourists who share content in their language. They love the photos and share what they are living with their relatives and friends who stayed in China.

Other media to have in mind
There are 620 million smartphone users in Asia. That is, more than half of the population owns one of these devices. The surprising thing is that in China a single application covers almost all the daily activity of the users. This is WeChat or also called the “Chinese Whatsapp”. This network continues to grow at a great pace and is an extraordinary tool to make a trend the contents and recommend to friends the products or services of a brand.

The Chinese use this social network throughout the day and through this application they  can pay for the coffee by only scanning the QR code of the cafe, they can transfer money or do a check in for the flight they might have in the afternoon. As we see, they use it for everything and all day.

Another digital resource to keep in mind is Weibo, a kind of Twitter that allows sharing information with friends and tell if the travel experience is satisfactory. Some 400 million people are in this network, so it is important to be part of it, especially if the product and service is intended for the young Chinese population.

Days to remember
There are three major holiday dates in China. Chinese New Year is marked by the lunar calendar and ends with the spring festival celebration. Is usually between the last days of January and mid-February. This celebration covers 10 to 12 days and is when they  go abroad in large quantities.

Then there is the International Labor Day, held on May 1st, before it was a week, probably 10 days with the weeknds. But the government decided to reduce it and divide the days in other months of the year, leaving it in only 4 consecutive days.

And finally, there is the China National Day , the most important date and is celebrated on October 1st, also known as the Golden Week: 10 to 15 consecutive days off. That’s why big travel agencies and consolidated destinations offer their best deals to tempt the tourist on these dates.

Having  these three events in mind  helps the agencies to build the media strategy and to develop and monitor marketing actions with greater intensity, seeking to be prepared to offer the tourism products in a timely and targeted manner.