For travel agencies and related tourism market players, reaching Chinese millennials may prove to be a lucrative undertaking. With a steady increase in spending power, the Chinese outbound tourism market is booming. Consequently, this segment of travelers appeals to travel brands globally.
More so, external travel from China to global tourist destinations has been rapidly expanding in recent years. In 2015, 1 billion Chinese chose to travel abroad, illustrating the substantial tourism potential in the region. Further, during these trips, the group spent an estimated $229 billion, according to GFK (a global market research agency).
Similarly, the increase in numbers matches the variety of travel destinations, both in Asia as well as distant countries. For instance, the volume of outbound Chinese travelers has more than quadrupled in certain countries like Thailand, increased two-fold in Europe, while almost tripling in Japan, America, and the Middle East.
However, you need to be more conversant with the unique characteristics and demographics of this group to overcome specific challenges. This article will assist you to figure out the secrets behind becoming a significant player in the Chinese travel market.
Drivers of the Chinese Travel Phenomenon
Two key factors are contributing to increased outbound travel:
- First, an increase in the middle-class income population, eager to sample the world of travel.
- Second, the current momentum of interconnectivity compels a broader proportion of people to use the internet.
Not only are travel brands relying more on Chinese tourists, but they are also looking to conquer the tourism market through their favored and unique space at home—the internet apps. Based on having more than 800 million active internet users, China has firmly established itself among the most connected countries in the world.
More so, among the regular internet users, 91% of them have accounts in mainstream Chinese social networks. Accordingly, Weibo and WeChat make up the most significant presence among the majority of the Chinese populace. For this reason, travel brands are trying to grasp the workings of these two specific social apps to engage more Chinese travelers.
Investing in Chinese Social Network Apps as a Marketing Tool
With a myriad of opportunities in the travel tourism market in China, prudent travel agencies seek to understand the particularities of the region. Hence, placing concerted efforts combining e-commerce with an effective digital marketing strategy.
As such, the presence of a travel brand on social networks is essential to communicate with the target Chinese clients. For that matter, WeChat and Weibo enable stakeholders in the travel industry to share content about their brands.
Reasons Behind the Appeal of WeChat and Weibo
China’s premier social app WeChat is maintaining an upward trajectory, presenting significant potential for travel brands aiming to conquer the Chinese market. Nevertheless, the tour companies have to come up with a well thought out strategy to achieve substantial success.
With more than one billion active users towards the end of 2018, WeChat profoundly integrates into the lives of Chinese society. As a result, it holds great potential as a driver of international travel brands aiming to establish dominance in the highly lucrative Chinese outbound travel segment.
Travel stakeholders must, therefore, familiarize themselves with the intricacies of the social media tool, before proceeding to link WeChat or Weibo with their marketing strategies. Regardless, travel brands currently on the platform display many lessons—more so in terms of destination marketing, airlines, cruise lines, and hospitality. If you’re looking to unlock the travel market in China, WeChat or Weibo may hold the key.
One of the prominent drawing points of WeChat for travel agencies is the theme of nature, especially given a large proportion of the population in China live in cities. Subsequently, by illustrating scenic localities, natural environments, parks, and mountainous landscapes, some industry players are successfully cutting themselves a niche in the Chinese outbound tourism market. More and more, the idea of travel is shaping around nature, music, and food in addition to images of national parks among other attractions away from the confines of city life.
Attributes of Chinese Millennials
What defines Chinese millennials? Globalization plays a significant role in differentiating this group, besides the influence of higher education levels, and a different overview of living as compared to older generations. A substantial percentage of Chinese millennials comprise the higher income population bracket of white-collar job occupations.
Moreover, millennials are substantially willing to spend more while also presenting less sensitive asking price elasticity. Equally, their income is highly likely to increase further in the short run. What this means for tourism a company is an enhanced ability to spend on high-end destination travel packages.
Making Use of the Ultra-Connected Nature of Chinese Millennials
Apart from this group significantly using WeChat, and Weibo to interact, they also utilize the platforms to share photos and experiences. Thus, savvy travel branding companies devise ways of disseminating relevant information regarding their products and services. Through these channels, prospective Chinese tourists get to know; flight prices, hotel rates, travel packages, places to visit, among other pertinent tourism details.
In any case, the social media channels are significantly useful in generating more leads for your company’s landing page—the firm’s website. Courtesy of the subsequent clicks, potential Chinese tourists can make travel arrangements through website booking provisions or contacting the travel agency.
Key Take Away
If you’re an active player in the travel and tour industry seeking to operate in China, it’s in your best interest to target and reach the Chinese millennial market. However, for you to do that, you have to recognize the fact that this particular group substantially utilizes the digital space and is consistently connected to the internet. Ultimately, this demands that you adopt this behavior and transition to local-based social media apps.
As a stakeholder in the tourism arena, a presence in these social networks allows internet users in this region to have access to relevant information. In this regard, it’s paramount that you should publish content and engage the target group online. WeChat and Weibo are among the most popular social media networks to get you started in attempting to reach your target customers. Contact us to launch your travel brand company on WeChat or Weibo.