China is the country with the largest number of the most connected internet users in the world. Just imagine: 1 billion active internet users are spending 25 hours per week Online, going on websites, watching videos, and, most importantly, interacting on socials!
With so much activity going on, it is normal to see many stars or Key Opinion Leaders (KOL’s) arising in the digital landscape behind the Great Firewall. Those stars have tremendous communities counted in hundreds of millions of Chinese followers.
Chinese KOL has a huge impact on followers’ destination choices.
Let us Prove it to you with Examples:
1. Mu Qi Mi Ya’s (母其弥雅) trip to Maldives
This Chinese celebrity is a well-known yoga master who is sharing online pictures of her performances. Such action granted her the title of “The Most Beautiful Yoga Master” in China. In the Maldives, Mu Qi Mi Ya has enjoyed meditating and performing Mandala Yoga, she took long walks through white sand beaches, and contemplated starry nights and the wonderful climate of the Islands.
“In the Maldives, I have met a Symbol of Luck. I hope I can share it with all of my friends… Blue sea, soft sand, balmy and starry nights…If you wish, you can always take a warm bath near the shore or feel free to dive into the virgin waters of the blue ocean”.
After seeing those dream-like pictures you can understand how influential was Mu Qi Mi Ya’s message to the 5 million of her followers on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
2. Huang Xiaolei’s (黄小蕾) fashion journey to Thailand
The Chinese actress Huang Xiaolei has traveled to Thailand for a fashion magazine photo shoot. Chinese netizens can see the actress both in a glance fashion style and in the relaxed environment of the streets of Thailand. She is going to amazing temples and wears various dresses. Chinese people remark on the porcelain doll-like faces, and temperament in soft movement.
“Everything is so sunny and green around. I took SPA and Thai massage to wash away my tiredness after months of shootings. The running water together with the fresh air gives your body a recovering and luxurious pleasure”.
“I like to bury my feet in the sand and quietly listen to the voice of the sea. The music of waves is telling me the story of nature’s creation. Human is too small and miserable compared to this wonderful and wise world…”
3. Yao Chen’s (姚晨) wedding in New Zealand
Chinese movie star Yao Chen spend around 200,000 USD on her wedding in Queenstown, New Zealand. The couple invited just a few dozen of friends and relatives to join the celebration, but the results of the event’s posts on her Weibo account with 26 million followers were tremendous: the wedding was cited 2.4 million times on various Chinese news sites and portals. It is also generated more than 110,000 discussions.
According to New Zealand tourism spokeswoman Emma Carter, up to 40,000 Chinese tourists followed to visit New Zealand for getting married or enjoying their honeymoons, spending about 130 million USD.
As displayed above: using Chinese celebrities in a well-designed digital marketing strategy can help convey a strong emotional message that is always well-received by Chinese tourists for two reasons :
- Chinese have a strong tendency to Follow other users’ experiences before planning or booking anything for holidays. Especially influential are the messages of celebrities and KOLs. In Chinese perception, nobody can do better than a celebrity.
- The knowledge that Celebrities have been there before, gives the Chinese audience a reinforced Sense of Paradise, and feelings of comfort and luxury that most of them are craving for. The figure of beautiful well-known Chinese women relaxing on a paradise island or discovering the remnants of another ancient culture is making wonders in attracting Chinese tourists.
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