The tourism market in China is a booming sector, by 2020 China will become the world’s largest tourist emitter in the world and should become the most visited country in 2030 thanks to its national tourism. Chinese people are increasingly attracted by traveling and the popular tourist destinations.
The competition is tough to attract future Chinese travelers: most tourist countries are thinking about the best way to attract Chinese tourists while tourism agencies are trying to penetrate the Chinese market.
Countries are adapting their infrastructures and tourist information to Chinese specificities and companies are trying to target their communication policies on Chinese travelers, who are looking for ever more innovative and qualitative journeys.
Some data about China’s tourism market
In 2017, China’s tourism market reached 130 million international travelers with $115 billion of expenditure, according to a report by Ctrip and the China Tourism Academy.
In 2015, Chinese tourists traveled an average of 4.87 times abroad.
Among stays abroad, 92% are leisure stays.
Chinese national holidays (Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese New Year, Qing Ming Festival…) influence the seasonality of tourist trips, which take place mainly in September, December, February and April.
The destinations and favorite activities of the Chinese people
In first place among the favorite destinations of the Chinese are the nearby destinations (Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam).
In second position comes Australia, then the United States and Europe (with France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland).
The Chinese people prefer to visit buildings, historic sites, parks and gardens and go shopping. The youngest people are more interested in intangible cultural heritage.
The rise of e-tourism in China
To organize trips abroad, the majority of Chinese people have recourse to traditional travel agencies, but online travel agencies are gaining ground thanks to the high number of Chinese Internet users (+800 million in June 2018 according to the Chinese government).
Social networks have an impact on Chinese tourists
According to several reports from tourist booking platforms, the Chinese spend more and more time traveling abroad and accumulate many experiences. Their consumption patterns are changing, and this also applies to travel.
According to the Maxity.frwebsite, 64.41% of Chinese people traveling abroad are under 35 and they mostly like to travel alone or with a group of friends.
Approximately 90% of them book their air tickets, hotels and business cards on the internet (tourist sites, online tourism platforms and applications).
Chinese people are very connected to the internet, which influences most of their buying and consuming decisions based on their friends’ reviews and sharing on newsgroups, online searches and influencers. Still according to the same study, most Chinese tourists consider that a successful trip is a connected trip. It is essential that companies adapt to the social networks used by the Chinese to build a reputation in this market and attract new customers.
The digital tools most used by Chinese tourists
Baidu is the Chinese first search engine. With its slogan “Baidu knows the Chinese better”it is the most visited website in China.
When a Chinese will want to organize his trip abroad, he will do research on the internet to discover the most popular destinations, compare prices and the best ways to get there as well as the main tourist sites to visit. Baidu is an essential tool to penetrate the tourism market in China. A good SEO on BAIDU is the key to increase its e-reputation and attract a large part of Chinese tourists.
Blogs and Communities in the age of Internet Influencers
Blogs and communities on social networks are one of the best ways to inspire Chinese people and make them want to travel. Indeed, they like to take inspiration from trips already made which are for them a guarantee of quality and a saving of time for the organization.
On many social networks like Mafengwo and Qyer, people share their travel pictures and videos with quality content. Then, users can record these trips and a booking feature has been added through partnerships with companies such as Booking .com, Ctrip or eLong.
In order to penetrate the Chinese tourism market, it is necessary to build a good reputation online and gain publicity. Being present on social networks that allow you to book directly on their platform is the easiest and most effective way to attract new customers.
Who are we?
Still many opportunities remain for the tourism sector in China, which will have to adapt its services and communication to the expectations of Chinese travelers.
Entering the Chinese market through social networks remains the most effective way to promote your services in China (Baidu, Weibo, WeChat, Mafengwo, Qyer).
Chinese Market Experts
Gentlemen Marketing Agency is a Shanghai-based digital marketing agency that helps foreign brands gain a foothold in China.
Our team is up-to-date on all the latest marketing trends in China and uses all the most effective digital tools to promote your business in China.
For more information consult our previous articles on the subject: