Travel World Reps

How to grow your tourism business from China – A step-by-step guide for DMCs

How to grow your tourism business from China – A step-by-step guide for DMCs

China is now reopened, ending three years of vigorous control under the Zero Covid policy. Inbound and outbound tourism are being fully endorsed to unfold, inspiring the hope of the global tourism industry.

Before the pandemic China was the world’s No.1 outbound tourism source country with 155 million travellers and $250 billion spending globally in 2019.

The Chinese outbound tourism industry has suffered a devastating blow, a fair number of travel companies did not survive, while others had subdued their business scope and sought for revenue streams from domestic tourism and other sources. Those successfully surviving travel companies have maintained and closely tightened their relationship with the used-to-be outbound travel segment clients, through providing them with exceptionally higher standard services for domestic holidays. These travel companies have also become more digital savvy than any time before, social media, video flatforms, live streaming, virtual trips, metaverse experience, are the marketing tools among many that they use on a day-to-day basis.

China is now a country leading the digital marketing trend in many industries, especially the tourism and hospitality industry. So, as a DMC if you wish to target the Chinese market, digital marketing must be an important part of your strategy.

Here, we would like to lay out a list of basic digital tasks that you must be considering, let’s dig in.

  • A Chinese website or Microsite                                                                                                        China has over 1 billion internet users, which is 70% of the mainland population. Chinese businesspeople spend considerable amounts of time on searching for information, learning new knowledge by browsing the China Wide Web – an intranet system using firewalls to block foreign websites and politically sensitive information from the World Wide Web. Did you know that less than 1% of the population in China speaks English? Put simply, a foreign language website hosted on a foreign server has an extremely slim chance to be found and opened. Hence, to have a Chinese website or a Chinese microsite (and having it hosted on a Chinese server) is your first step of China marketing.
  • Social media
    If you don’t already know… Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all blocked in China, and they’re just a few of the many that don’t make it past the Great Firewall of China. But China has its own digital ecosystem.
    On the top of the list there are 6 major players – WeChat, Weibo, Little Red Book, Zhihu, Douyin and Bilibili. WeChat is the undisputed king of China social media. (Read “WeChat basics a marketer for China must know” and “4 steps to maximise WeChat B2B & B2C impact”) If you do not leverage WeChat as a marketing tool then you are not talking to China.

 

we chat b2c
 
  • Virtual sales meetings
    Virtual business meetings have played an essential role during the pandemic to stay connected with your business partners around the world. This trend is here to stay. You can remain where you are and connect the virtual meetings with your desired business partners in China (with whom we would have already confirmed their interest in exploring working relationships with your company) and with our interpretation support throughout the meetings.

 

Digital marketing is important, but it cannot thrive without personal touch. Let’s not forget, China is a relationship-based society – have you heard of the phrase “Guanxi”? All the digital marketing effort is to get your companies noticed but to win the actual business, you would need more than that, the real-life interaction, shaking hands, smiles, exchanging business cards and small gifts, dining together, are the keys to unlocking some serious business potential.

We recommend you have a presence at some of China’s best outbound travel exhibitions, like ITB China, GITF, COTTM, ITEHK, etc. where you can expect to walk away with abundant quality sales leads and be able to connect with potential Chinese tourism business partners. We offer travel exhibition representation if physically coming to exhibit is not an option for you.

Now the Chinese borders are open, quarantine requirement is no more, you can consider visiting China, nothing works better than face to face meetings, under our help you could expect to meet with the most relevant Chinese companies and with their decision makers too!

Just to remind you again, China is country with low English proficiency, with no interpretation support you are likely to find hard to navigate, we offer you the interpretation and sales guidance support at exhibitions and face to face meetings, and most importantly our sales representatives will help throughout the group inquiry (RFP) process and significantly improve your chance of leads conversion.

 

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