According to Tourism Ireland, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Ireland could reach 175,000 in 2025, more than double that in 2017. Indeed, last year, about 70,000 Chinese tourists went to Ireland, up about 15 percent year-on year.
Chinese tourists in Ireland
In order to cater the growing inflow of Chinese tourists, the China Ready training program has been launched by Tourism Ireland and Irish tourism partners. This is a program designed to help Irish tourism companies grab business opportunities and develop their strategy in China with for example Wechat. Tourism Ireland also developed a joint campaign with one of the biggest Chinese travel companies to attract travelers to come visit Ireland in winter. The Tourism Ireland’s manager for China, James Kenny, said: “Our aim is to win a greater share of the 4 million Chinese visitors who travel to Europe each year”.
Most of Chinese tourists of the first-tier cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, had already traveled a lot. They know many countries and want now to discover new destinations. They are more independent than their peers. Chinese living in the second-tier cities are less experienced than those living the first-tier cities of China. That’s why this part of Chinese tourists will prefer guide tour and group travelling. In addition, because it’s new, they will spend a lot of money. They want to bring gifts and memories to their families and friends. The luxury tourism is a way more and more chosen by travelers. They want the best: quality, convenience and comfort. Finally, the new Chinese millennials generation is really complex, to attract this target you will need to use new tools. They want a unique and amazing experience. Indeed, they want to show their travels to their friends and their family and they expect you, travel agency, to make it wonderful and unforgettable.
How to attract Chinese tourists?
Even if Chinese travelers are ready to spend a lot of money abroad, attracting them requires a strategic approach and you need to know indispensable tips to generate traffic on your website.
Partnership with Chinese travel agencies
The clear majority of Chinese tourists travel in groups. According to the latest report by the tourism agency of China, group travel takes up 70% of traveling for Chinese people. Therefore, communication among agencies can make your website known, and allows you to generate your first business in the country.
China is the world largest connected country: more than 90% of Chinese people have an account on at least one Chinese social network. Wechat is the social media the most used in China and, regardless of the size of your company, it is an essential media to develop your marketing strategy in the country. Including Wechat in your digital strategy to attract Chinese tourists is one of the most powerful tools you could use.
Having a good reputation online is essential in China. Press Relations is one of the key points on which any digital marketing strategy should be based. More than attract Chinese travelers to your website, it is important to raise your company awareness and to make it more visible for Chinese by using online Public Relations. Consequently, it is always useful for a company to use Press Relations to promote your travel tours. With PR you can establish a coherent brand position, write press releases in Mandarin and disseminate this content by targeting journalists.
SEO on Baidu
The most widely used search engine by Chinese people and Chinese tourists is called Baidu. The website owns 80% of the market shares, it ranks 5th among the most visited sites in the world and currently has more than 800 million web pages. SEO on Baidu is the key for the visibility of your travel company in China. Baidu now offers a wide range of services, such as web searches, image search, music, forums or a Q&A service. SEO on Baidu requires several steps, which may be different from what needs to be done on Google. The notions of trust and notoriety remain essential for companies wishing to enter the Chinese market and be visible on Baidu.
Key Opinion Leaders
In order to have a quick high visibility in China, very few methods are as effective as partnerships with Key Opinion Leaders. Indeed, the word-of-mouth is very strong in China. Since few years, they became a real part of the influencer marketing because they are numerous and powerful. KOLs are often Chinese celebrities who are experts of a specific subject. They are popular social media users and have created a viral content to develop a community around them. Working together with Key Opinion Leaders will help your travel company to create a significant influence. Many organizations working in the tourism industry looking to attract Chinese customers already created partnerships with KOLs.
Use travel platforms
You can have your own website to publish your own content, publish information and specific details about your company. However, if your main purpose is to reach Chinese tourists you must register your business on these famous Chinese platforms. ¼ of the online travel agency market belongs to Ctrip. The rest of the market shares belong to Tuniu CY, LVmama and Aoyou.We are a digital marketing agency based in Shanghai and our international team can help you to enter the Chinese market. Do not hesitate to contact us!
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