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The Dos and Don'ts of Marketing to Chinese Tourists

May 26, 2023

Are you a hotel owner looking to attract Chinese tourists and tap into the lucrative market they represent? If so, it's important to understand the dos and don'ts of marketing to this demographic. With over 155 million outbound Chinese tourists in 2019 alone, catering to their unique needs and preferences can make all the difference in driving bookings and boosting revenue.

In this article, we'll explore key strategies for effectively marketing your hotel to Chinese travellers while avoiding common pitfalls that could hinder your success. 

What to Do When Marketing to Chinese Tourists

When marketing to attract Chinese tourists, it is important to be aware of the cultural differences and to tailor your marketing strategy accordingly. Here are some tips on how to attract Chinese tourists:

Accessible Marketing

Make sure all of your marketing material is accessible in Mandarin Chinese. This is the most important step, as many Chinese tourists cannot read English.

Make Use of WeChat

Use WeChat as a platform for marketing and communication. With over 1.3 billion users globally and the majority of these being Chinese, WeChat is a powerful marketing tool with the ability to reach large and customised audiences.  

Get Active on Social Media

Make use of social media platforms such as Weibo and Little Red Book. These platforms are popular among Chinese people and can be used to reach out to potential customers. Make sure that your hotel's official account on these platforms is active and regularly updated with fresh content. Post photos and videos of your hotel and its facilities, as well as special offers and promotions. 

Monitor Reviews

In addition to maintaining an active social media presence, it is also important to monitor what people are saying about your hotel online. Make sure to respond quickly and professionally to any negative reviews or comments. By providing good customer service, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one and win over potential guests.

Utilise Local Influencers and Partnerships

One of the most effective ways to attract Chinese tourists is to utilise local influencers and partnerships. Many Chinese travellers heavily rely on social media and word-of-mouth recommendations when planning their trips, so working with influencers who have a large following among this demographic can be a great way to reach potential guests. Similarly, partnering with local businesses that cater to Chinese tourists can also be beneficial.

Offering mobile payment options 

More and more Chinese travellers are using mobile payment apps like Alipay and WeChat Pay when they travel. Make sure your hotel is able to accept these forms of payment in order to make the booking process as smooth as possible for potential guests.

What Not to Do When Marketing to Chinese Tourists

When wondering how to attract Chinese tourists, it is important to be aware of certain cultural nuances that could easily offend your target audience. Here are a few things NOT to do when marketing to Chinese tourists:

Avoid Stereotypes

Don't use stereotypes in your advertising or promotional materials. This includes using images or caricatures of Chinese people that are stereotypical or offensive.

Be Culturally Aware

Don't use offensive language or make jokes about sensitive topics like China's political situation. Remember that you're trying to appeal to a wider audience, not just those within China.

Don't Ignore Cultural Customs

When marketing to Chinese tourists, it is important to be aware of cultural customs that may impact the way your guests interact with your hotel. For example, in China, it is common for businesses to give gifts as a way to build relationships. This could be something as simple as a branded keychain or notebook. 

Avoid Too Much Promotion or Hard Selling

When marketing to Chinese tourists, it is important to avoid coming across as too promotional or sales-oriented. This can be off-putting and may deter potential guests from considering your hotel. Instead, focus on creating attractive and informative content that presents your hotel in a positive light. Highlight the unique features and amenities that make it a great choice for travellers, and be sure to include plenty of photos and videos to give visitors a sense of what your property has to offer.

Don't Overlook Mobile Options

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it's more important than ever to ensure your hotel is visible on mobile devices. Chinese top the global list of mobile users and this means tourists are especially likely to use their smartphones to research and book travel, so you need to make sure all of your promotional material is mobile-friendly. 

How Can a WeChat Mini Program Help?

A Mini Program presents a powerful marketing tool for hotels targeting Chinese tourists. It provides a user-friendly interface within the hugely popular social media platform, WeChat, allowing easy access to browse and book hotel rooms – and much more. 

The Mini Program leverages user data to offer personalised recommendations, ensuring a tailored experience while the social sharing features of WeChat enable users to share their experiences and reviews, building trust and credibility. 

The Mini Program also showcases hotel rooms through immersive virtual tours, giving potential guests a detailed view of layouts and amenities. 

Additionally, it highlights local restaurant menus and local attractions, guiding Chinese tourists with a variety of dining options and valuable information.

Cracking the Code on How to Attract Chinese Tourists

It is obvious that in today's globalised tourism industry, reaching out to Chinese tourists has become increasingly important for hotels. In this article, we have explored the dos and don'ts of marketing your hotel to Chinese tourists, providing insights into the key strategies that can make or break your efforts to attract this lucrative market. 

From leveraging Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Mini Programs to understanding and catering to the unique needs of Chinese travellers can be a game-changer for hotels looking to tap into this growing segment. With a little bit of cultural sensitivity and strategic thinking, hotels can successfully attract and cater to Chinese tourists, delivering a memorable experience that keeps them coming back for more.

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