Thematic travel: a new trend for Chinese travellers?
Overseas trips by Chinese are going to grow to 400M by 2030, this market may need local business to pay more attention to. While Chinese tourists are known for a wide range of habits and behaviors, one of their more consistent traits is their tendency to source their travel plans and destinations from what they see on social media and during their travel, they will also actively sharing on social media so don’t be afraid if you see Chinese FITs tweeting while they are on the train of buses (P.S. I am one of them actually).
Recently years, I can see that from my friends’ WeChat moment are all about traveling in museums, beaches, rain forest or some thematic place like Harry Porter or Downton Abbey filming places etc and I can see that there is a growing trend is major tourist attraction is no longer the top priority to the FITs but some places that are unique or with cultural stories and experience seems to be more appealing. (“WeChat moment” which is like a facebook status tweet that you can check in location, post photos/videos, tag people and updates status. )
Apart from Film associated locations, many young Chinese FITs are also often looking forward to those destinations which associated with major events, such as Russia World Cup, London for Wimbledon and well-known international marathon and so on. Since China become more and more open to the world, we, the young generation of Chinese can easily gain information from the TV shows, such as Game of Thrones, Harry Porter or other UK, US series as well as the world events as well. The more we know the more we want to explore the world. Below are the hotspot in UK that you may see more Chinese FITs there.
3 Major business challenges of local business to approach authentic Chinese FITs
1) Limited Chinese-information that could be searched from internet or been seen in the front door of the spots
Many local partners I approached are very passionated about the Chinese market, however with the language barrier and cultural differences, it is hard for them to serve Chinese in a right way or promote their business with more affordable budget. So one of the mission of STW is to lower their barrier for making smart marketing approach on our platform without learning Chinese and we are also inside the WeChat Mini-App eco-system, so Chinese can be easily to search for the local spots information. With our window stickers, our logo is a Chinese character “赏” which Chinese can associated this place they can appreciate something and get a reward, thus attract them to go inside and visit, from our backend data tracking, the spots which have our stickers has 75% higher rate on being clicks on our platform compare with the spots without our stickers.
2) Chinese young travelers love “Story-telling” spots more
Nowadays, young Chinese FITs are more authentic and sophisticated. For the 90s, they want to be differentiated on their social media thus they are more likely to go for the unique spots which is niche but good for taking pictures. And as I mentioned in my last articles, more Chinese returnee are promoting what they have learnt while they are studied overseas also helping a bit for local spots to explain more about the culture difference. What my point is if local business want to become more appealing to the new generation, we must create our unique stories in “Chinese-appealing angle” so that we can draw more attention from the FITs. STW content team is a team of professional copywriters that work with China Social Media everyday, with our expertise, spots can use affordable budget for modifying their content with our team.
3) Spots should selling EXPERIENCE rather than selling products
When I traveling in Europe every year for 2 months visiting the spots partners, I always love to share my China Insight with them as I had been working in the industry for more than 13 years, I learnt about Chinese behavior everyday. One of the observations from my previous startup company CREATEC and my previous work experience in a big data company is that young generation right now are more looking forward for add-value service like “a free special local dessert after spending XXX”, “extra one glass of local wine tasting” or “a free limited postcard from XXX” or unique experience becoming important for spots to be aware of. As we are promoting local culture and heritage, I am always happy to provide my advice on how to customized their offering to Chinese FITs during the “Founder meet-up” (which I will meet most of the partners for first time to share my mission with them).