The first thing to remember is that, just like for travellers from all over the world, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to attracting guests from China.
NB: This is an article from SiteMinder
There is incredible diversity within China, given it is a country of almost 1.5 billion people and over 5,000 years of history. There are 33 provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions, and special administrative regions (SAR), and China shares borders with 14 countries. Mandarin is the official language, but various dialects are spoken throughout China.
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On top of that, there has always been diverse incomes, budgets, ages, hometowns, interests, and travel motivations.
Comparing the pre and post-COVID landscape shows us that things are even more different now. Initially there are likely to be specific segments and reasons for travel, before these give way to a more general wave of international leisure travel. They may include short-haul trips such as:
- Travellers undertaking urgent trips to reunite with family and friends
- Business people travelling to reestablish relationships and partnerships
- Student travel
- Travel for healthcare
Once urgent trips are out of the way, visa processes are smoothed out, and all flights have resumed, it’s likely that long-haul travel will take place for leisure purposes. Some predictions are expecting:
- The first wave of guests to be experienced travellers, including millennials, Gen-Z and luxury travellers.
- A move away from big sightseeing groups and tours, towards independent trips that have been planned and dreamt about for years.
- A greater focus on experiencing and learning, with value for money as a priority.
- ‘Less discovered’ destinations to be popular – e.g trips that feel like an adventure.
- More attention being paid to sustainability.
For some destinations this will be great news, and for others it will mean a longer wait and a bigger challenge. Thailand, for example, is one destination that projects Chinese tourism in 2023 will actually exceed 2019 levels.
So what can your hotel do right now and in the future to maximise bookings?
7 tips on winning Chinese guest bookings at your hotel
The very first step is knowing where to find and target travellers from China online.
SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report found that just 8% plan to begin their research on a search engine, well down on the global average of 33% – most will begin on specific sites or apps. Additionally, 47% plan to book with an OTA and 24% direct with their accommodation.
Tip #1 – Connect additional OTA channels, such as Trip.com and Kognitiv
SiteMinder data shows that if you connect to Trip.com and Kognitiv – you will be visible where nearly 75% of where bookings are made by travellers from China. Increasing your channel diversity is always a good idea if you want to reach new markets or cash-in on a large market like China. Use a channel manager solution to automate the process, cut-down on double bookings, and get key performance insights.