More than 100 million Chinese tourists travelled abroad in 2014, the important role they play for the future of the tourism industry is a fact. If you are an inbound tourism agency you should know where Chinese get their information from…Because this is where you need to be!

What are the first reflexes of a Chinese tourist to get information?

There are over 632 million Internet users in China, and most of them remain connected to Internet via their phones, tablets and computers. For a trip abroad, Chinese holidaymakers will stay up to date with the latest trendy destinations, hotels or best flight deals. To be amongst those in China is just a matter of :

  • The right channel
  • The right message
  • To the right target

Baidu

This search engine holds approximately 80% of market shares, against only 10% for its US counterpart Google. In China, most Internet searches begin with Baidu, those on the trips are no exception. Baidu also has its own research website dedicated to travel: Baidu Luyou.

The first step to a tourism company (ie : hotels, agencies, resort)  wishing to attract Chinese tourists is to hold a Chinese version of its website. It must be hosted in China or Hong Kong for more speed and match the design criteria of Chinese sites. Here is an example:

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Translation aside, a personal website will have to work on its Baidu SEO, in order to gain visibility among Chinese netizens willing to prepare their next trip.

Social Networks

Most Chinese tourists are not really familiar with foreign travels. That’s why they look after so much information. They want to be sure of the reliability of the data they collect. They are therefore seeking a lot of information on community sites like social networks, as they have confidence in users who can inform them there.

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Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in the Tourism market with more than 1.4 million fans on Weibo

Indeed 90% of Chinese Internet users have at least one account on a social network. And according to a research by Hotels.com, 33% of tourists are seeking information there. That is why it is interesting for tourism stakeholders to get closer to the field of tourism opinion leaders. So that they can recommend their services to their communities of tourists looking tips.

Online Booking Websites

Expenses related to the online tourism were 2850 billion yuan in 2013 and continue to rise. Most of these revenues were generated by online reservation sites. In addition to their online booking services, these sites also offer information and quality pictures to the Chinese Internet users. They can also see the advice of former tourists. The foreign tourism actors thus gain visibility and confidence of Chinese tourists by owning an account on the main platforms of Chinese online bookings such as : Ctrip,Qunar, Tuniu, Elong and Lümama.

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Ctrip homepage for the Chinese New Year

In China, e-reputation and IWOM (Internet Word of Mouth) on the internet are really important to convince tourists of the reliability of your services. The more we have already spoken of a destination or a hotel positively on the Chinese web, the more future Chinese tourists will be likely to give them confidence.

Tourism professionals wishing to attract Chinese tourists must absolutely have a digital strategy in China. They must favor SEO, communication on Chinese social media platforms like Weibo, QQ or WeChat. Registration and promotion of its establishment or destination on Chinese booking platforms are also good ways to quickly gain visibility among Chinese tourists.