Ireland decided to take the initiative to increase the number of Chinese tourists choosing it as a destination
A delegation representing the main players in Irish tourism has visited China. It intends to establish a lasting relationship with the major travel agencies in China. What is its purpose ? Simply increase the number of Chinese tourists coming to Ireland! During the next few days , the 18 people in the delegation will meet with key tourism officials in China by visiting the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou
While it is no less than 3 million Chinese tourists traveling in Europe, Tourism Ireland hopes to reach a target of 50,000 per year by 2018.
Their delegation will establish agreements to include Ireland in the coming offers and brochures Chinese tour operator give to their customers to increase the visibility of this destination. The Irish tourism seeks to develop its core strengths including such as :
- Old towns and castles showing Irish architecture at its best for all lovers of history and original sites .
- Its varied landscapes like cliffs, sandy beaches , plains .
What kind of strategy would be effective in attracting Chinese tourists in Ireland?
Before going onto discuss any strategy, let’s take look:
- 618 million users or about 45 % of the population of Internet users worldwide.
- 100 million Chinese tourists per year = > 200 million Chinese tourists by 2020
- China e- tourism is a market of 26 billion euros per year with about 30 % annual growth ( iResearch 2013)
What are the latest trends in the behavior of Chinese tourists?
Although the cliché of the groups of Chinese tourists from one place to another as quickly as possible to maximize their time is still valid ; it is changing.
Chinese tourists are increasingly seeking personal experience, beautiful views and cultural discoveries. However , what does not change is their taste for purchases to offer gifts to those around them or simply treat themselves .
So from a digital marketing perspective it makes sense to develop such a strategy after doing market research to find out which segment to position yourself onto, what kind of content you should broadcast and how :
Example of the type of content to be distributed to promote Ireland
Whether for SEO, community management or any other aspect of promoting digital marketing in China, it will take at least 5 to promote tourism in Ireland following aspects :
1) From Ireland in general : Someone looking for a destination begins with general information about Ireland. We must therefore be able to provide this information as quickly and clearly as possible.
2) Cities : There are the main centers of Ireland for many things , it will certainly be where Chinese tourists will want to stop and make their purchases .
3) Hostels and hotels: It would be good to make an emphasis on equipment that meets Chinese tourists’ needs ( Wifi, Mandarin speaking staff , kettle etc …).
4) Places of interest : Chinese are looking for new cultural experiences cultural highlights must be emphasized.
5) The food : As strange as it may seem for the Chinese, is one of the elements that have more and more importance for them.As such promotion is needed in that area as well.
First step: the site or sites in Chinese
This or these sites in China will establish a strong online presence on the Chinese internet via one or more sites translated into Mandarin.
Is promoting Ireland by only using one general website more efficient than using several websites? The two strategies have their pros and cons that need to be evaluated according to the situation
Increase the visibility of its websites:
SEO Having a site or sites is one thing but one still need to do SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation ) by choosing the relevant keywords to position itself onto.They will be determined through the study of the most common queries made by Chinese users. Thus the site or sites promoting tourism to Ireland would have a good view on the results pages of Baidu, ideally making the website being ranked at the top of the first webpage for all the chosen keywords.
Creating a buzz
Create a buzz around an event connected with Ireland will attract the attention of a large number of people in a very short time. For instance it can be a concert about Irish tradition with Chinese celebrities or a fashion run about Irish traditional clothing
Having an online community with an interest in Ireland It is the community management discussed here , ie the work delivering content through Chinese networks to build a community of fans that will sustain interest for Ireland. Thanks to community management you can talk about yourself, your buzz and your sites to make your content “Like” and shared. (yes, Weibo and WeChat have their Like) The main Chinese social networks that work are Weibo and WeChat which each have about 500 million users. On top of that , have a presence on sites and community specialized in travel allows for an even greater influence when it comes to promoting tourism here in Ireland.
Using Key opinion leaders or KOL
KOL are influential people who have the trust of a large number of people in the form of fans (like Facebook) and followers . We are talking about hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. Attracting the right KOL Ireland would effectively capture the attention of all who follow him or her.
Here is a “small” KOL followed by 722,775 people! You must then pass the information through online journals that will promote Ireland via articles. Online journals can increase your credibility with your target customers. Most often it is through a network that it is possible to publish content in Chinese online newspapers .
Controlling E -reputation :
This is a precautionary measure to prevent misinformation circulating and harming the image of Ireland. The internet is a vast network , information is propagated quickly. Here a responsive team is needed. It will be able to nip in the bud any problems of online reputation . Such a strategy requires experts to succeed.
Conclusion : Actors are many but the market is bigger. The Chinese tourism market has yet to reach its full potential, many things are possible.
In addition, combining a digital strategy with a meeting of Chinese tourism official character is a good way to actually achieve the goals set by the Irish tour operator or even exceed them. Of course the kind of strategy described here is applicable to other situations by making the appropriate changes.
In any case, one must not forget that you need to be patient. Most of the time you need at minimum 6 months before having the most interesting returns from your marketing campaign. This type of strategy is a very cost efficient long term investment.