The Chinese National Tourism Administration (CNTA) stated that outbound travel has grown a staggering 270 percent since 2008 and the organization forecasts it will reach 200 million departures by 2020.
Vietnam and Cambodia optimize hospitality services for Chinese travelers
Hotels catering to Chinese travelers are not generally a norm outside the borders of China, but recent research shows that they should be. Vietnam brought in 60% more Chinese tourists in the first quarter of this year and Cambodia saw a 45% growth, pushing the boundaries even further with their “China Ready Contest” rewarding hospitality services that offer Mandarin menus and information and accept the yen as payment.
The ministry created the contest to find and encourage outstanding tourism operators in providing services for Chinese tourists, as well as to urge tourism operators who have not yet applied for China Ready Accreditation to do so.
Cambodia Tourism Minister Thong Khon said that the country can expect seven million tourists by 2020, of which two million will be from China.
Australia seeking to attract more Chinese travelers
The trend goes beyond the borders of Asia. Australia is seeking ways to attract more Chinese visitors too. The Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation visited China, meeting over 80 Chinese travel agents in a bid to boost tourism in the region. This, because the region has recorded 11% growth of Chinese tourists during the past three years and MAPTO Business Development Manager Anita Kane sees the potential to increase the numbers:
“Mandurah and the Peel Region is the ideal destination for Chinese visitors given beaches and the opportunity to interact with wildlife is what appeals to them most about WA.”
The Adelaide Airport has worked hard to provide “China Ready” services to passengers from China, including assistance to Mandarin speakers throughout the airport and information through the WeChat social media platform. Chinese visitor numbers have spiked since the introduction of direct flights, up more than 50 percent last financial year to 56,000.
Thousands of more Chinese tourists will be able to fly direct to Queensland: the maiden China Southern Airlines Guangzhou to Cairns will operate three times a week and from mid-December, Air China will launch its new Beijing to Brisbane route flying four times a week.
Chinese tourist numbers up in Portugal too
According to Tourism Secretary Ana Mendes Godinho, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Portugal has soared by 40% during the first nine months of 2017, with figures for the first nine months of the year already topping the total income generated during the whole of 2015. The Portuguese ambassador in Beijing, Jorge Torres-Pereira stated earlier this year that the country could welcome one million Chinese tourists a year.
At the moment, we are at 200,000, if we increase by 35 percent a year, we can quickly be ambitious.
After the first direct flight from Beijing to Lisbon launched in July, Portugal has already recorded a boost in tourist numbers.
2018: Canada-China Year of Tourism
China is Canada’s second fastest growing inbound travel market but the country still needs to soften its visa regime to welcome more Chinese travelers. David Goldstein, president of Destination Canada, considers Chinese tourism “the opportunity of our generation.”
Chinese tourists are more affluent, sophisticated and mobile than they were even just a decade ago; improved air travel has made it easier to reach Canada from secondary Chinese markets; and enhanced government funding for tourism marketing will help expand sales efforts in China.
Washington, DC taps into WeChat to cater to Chinese tourists
Destination DC (DDC), the official marketing organization for Washington, DC, expands its partnership with WeChat by launching the first City Experience Mini Program in the United States to support Chinese travelers when they arrive in the city. The new DDC City Experience Mini Program is designed to be an interactive guide that helps tourists make the most of their visit to Washington. It also boasts audio tours in Mandarin. The program’s top features are:
- Top attractions
- Details including opening and closing times, contact information and admission fees
- Audio tours in Mandarin
- Walking directions
- Social share functionality on WeChat
- The Mini Program will have new attractions and content added every week and will soon feature top dining, shopping and tour offers that tourists can take advantage of.
Washington, DC is not the only city partnering with WeChat to better serve Chinese travelers. In November, WeChat revealed its CityExperience Mini Program, and its partnership with VisitBritain – the United Kingdom’s official tourism body – as well as Tourism Australia, and Dubai Tourism at an event in Shanghai.
“WeChat is a leading social mobile app in China. For Tourism Australia, it is great to partner with WeChat in the CityExperience Mini Program, to deliver relevant destination information on demand to high-value Chinese FIT travelers,” said Andrew Hogg, Regional General Manager, North Asia, Tourism Australia
Here’s how Plateno can help you attract more Chinese travelers to your hotel
As you see, the world is ready to welcome Chinese travelers, but are you? Chinese travelers value luxury at bargain rates, they are very concerned about safety, they demand free high-speed WiFi, kettles with hot water, an onsite restaurant with Chinese food options on the menu, in-hotel shopping (and Chinese tourists are big spenders), communication in Mandarin, and flawless online reputation of your hotel. You’ll need to get your message across, so have a Chinese website and a presence on WeChat. Plateno can help you “build a link” between your hotel and Chinese travelers by taking advantage of the Plateno Club, the largest loyalty program in China based on 80 million members. The Plateno Club offers a leading edge membership rewards system with a high level of member satisfaction. Rewarding loyalty drives repeat business.
85% to 87% of our bookings come direct, a level almost all hotels would dream about, and it is all down to the strength of our loyalty scheme. We’ve seen the recent moves by hotel chains to offer incentives to members, presenting this as a new concept but we’ve been doing it for ten years – discounts, free nights, upgrades.
Plateno also offers a powerful CRS system, which drives more than 70% of our bookings. We have created social media platforms to actively engaged guests and make them loyal members through an innovative membership program, supported by an advanced electronic booking system. Central reservation system booking channels:
- Booking website
- Tablet application
- Touch mobile application
- WeChat, WeiboSina, QQ
- Customer service hotline (CMS) (through the use of WeChat)
Here are the top reasons to choose Plateno as your business partner:
- We operate over 3700 hotels
- Train 1500 general managers/ year
- Developed In-house PMS system
- Developed In-house CRS
- Exclusive operator for Hampton by Hilton hotels
- International offices in 5 countries
- Global procurement center
- International HR capabilities
Interested? You can contact us here.
Article contributed by Tomasz Janczak. Janczak is the E-Commerce & Distribution Director for Plateno Group Europe, the daughter company of the Chinese hotel group, which manages more than 3700 hotels under 16 brands globally. Tomasz is also heading up the launch of a new project for Plateno corporate, that will open up the unlimited Chinese travel market to European hoteliers.