According to research, China is the world’s number one source market for tourism. In 2017 there was a recorded 129 million outbound trips. Dubai is quickly becoming the number one travel destination for affluent Chinese. The government has welcome this development, however businesses in Dubai need to do more to attract Chinese tourists.
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There has been a growth of 119% in overnight Chinese visitors since 2014 and a year-on-year increase of 41.4% overnight Chinese visitors to Dubai from 2016 to 2017. A representative of Chinese travel site Ivmama.com stated that Chinese visitors to Dubai in the first eight months of 2018 had increased by more than 20%.
Dubai is the financial centre and largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East. Chinese tourists are attracted to Dubai’s exotic sights, luxury hotels and branded goods.
Why is Dubai getting all this attention now?
The Dubai government has made efforts to accommodate Chinese tourists by introducing a visa-on-arrival for Chinese nationals. They have also collaborated with local carriers and launched a new Chinese-language radio channel. These efforts are welcome; however, the Chinese still need to be persuaded on where to go and how to spend their money.
Internet culture is big in China. Consumers will spend hours browsing the web for information and recommendations before spending their money. The Dubai government has done a commendable job in getting the Chinese’ attention, but their businesses, tourism agencies and hotels have very little internet presence. This is where digital marketing is necessary.
The key to getting a place in the Chinese market is to adapt the brand to the target market and use their platforms to reach them. At Gentleman Marketing Agency, our team strives to give foreign brands the best advice regarding the industry.
How Dubai Travel Agency can lure Chinese Tourists
China is an interesting market as consumer behavior is very different from that compared to the Western and European markets. A good agency can provide in-depth market research and understand the objectives and demands of the Chinese consumer. In order for a foreign brand to do well, there are some steps that need to be taken: It is important to ensure that your brand is prevalent on local platforms and search engines.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) On Baidu
In China, visibility is one of the most important goals that a brand should aim for. Baidu is the dominating search engine and more than 90% of potential Chinese buyers start their research on the Internet.
It is a long-term strategy to improve the visibility of a company on search engines. The goal is to be on the top of the list as a result of frequently searched and adapted key-words. A SEO campaign requires the key words your target market uses (in Mandarin) to lead them to your website. The type of traffic you receive is also important. You only want traffic that is a potential client.
Travel Website Development
Language and format are very important here. The website needs to be adapted according to both local aesthetic preferences and content available in Mandarin. It is strongly advised to get be hosted locally in order for easier, faster access as well as for SEO. Customer care must be capable of handling an influx of queries, in Mandarin, at local time.
Social Media Campaign
WeChat and Weibo are two of the biggest game players in this industry. They are unlike and incomparable to any one existing platform outside of China. WeChat is both a communication and a shopping tool. Increasingly, mobile payment apps such as WeChat Pay (similar to PayPal, but so much more) have become an indispensable part of their lifestyle, allowing them to not only pay for goods, services and bills, but also book flights, hotels and train tickets. Weibo allows users to stay up to date with the latest trends and news as well as interact with KOL’s (Key Influence Leaders) and keep tabs and what their favourite celebrities are wearing, eating and reading. Both WeChat and Weibo are great tools for bridging the gap between foreign brands and Chinese consumers, allowing for interaction and updates on the latest offers.
There are many more platforms and strategies to take your brand to the next level. With Chinese spending up to 3 hours a day on their phones browsing the web, communicating and shopping, it only makes sense to that the next step is for foreign brands to bring what they have to offer through digitization. A visible presence online is essential and a positive reputation is even better.
China’s social and cultural concept of the Middle East in recent times has changed drastically from the past. They are more open to learning new things if presented with the opportunity. By altering the packaging, taking advantage of special holidays and charging an attractive price point, the brand can become more lucrative.
How our agency can help you
Our digital marketing agency has experts in the industry that can provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make your brand a success in China. We have experience and a team that is ready to help. Feel free to email or drop by for a chat.