2 megatrends drive Chinese outbound tourism:
The first is an incredible growth in the number of tourists, from 107 million in 2014 to 128 million in 2015 - on to an expected total of 200 million in 2020.
The second is a rapid shift in the way they travel: Switching from old-fashioned group tourism to independent tourism (FIT). This mirrors the development seen in all countries around the world - but the change is taking place surprising early and quickly.
With such enormous growth in Chinese tourism one would think there was enough for everyone.
But facts tells us differently: In 2016 cities like Prague and Naples have seen dramatic increase in Chinese tourism, while cities such as Copenhagen and Paris have witnessed a fall in Chinese tourism.
The reasons for success and failure obviously vary. But 3 things are clear: Chinese tourists are tired of being taken for granted; they increasingly demand authenticity and look for ‘something unique’; and providing a good deal is as important as ever.
Our solutions ensure impact in all 4 phases of the Chinese tourists’ trips: Dream, Planning and Booking, Experience and Sharing.
Cities all over the world struggle to truly stand out and get seen by Chinese FIT's. Paris, Rome and London may be known by all Chinese - but almost no one knows the difference between such different cities as Munich and Frankfurt; Stockholm and Oslo; or Budapest and Bratislava.
For most cities this is a real challenge - and an even greater opportunity! For while European tourists may have preconceived perceptions of a country, region or city - the Chinese have very few.
At Shanghai Jungle we have made it our business to make sure that the Chinese tourists not only know our clients’ cities - but also that they actually come to visit.
It’s marketing ABC: In order to attract the tourists its of course necessary to first get their awareness and attention.
For most destinations the upside is, that few Chinese tourists have strong preconceived perceptions. Italy is not preferred over Germany, or Spain over Austria.
This creates great opportunities for cities and regions who have not traditionally been preferred destinations for European tourists.
The Chinese preferred sources of information during the Dream and Planning phases are online websites such as Mafengwo, Qiongyou, Tuniu and Baidu Lvyou. We work with all of these and many more to ensure maximum visibility for our clients.
Attention is a prerequisite for reaching the Chinese tourists - but in itself it will only have a limited impact.
To substantiate their interest in visiting your city you must send a strong signal that the visit will be a great experience - and make it easy for them to find all relevant information.
The key instruments for this are a professional Chinese website and a fully functioning WeChat account - including both fixed content and ongoing postings.
At Shanghai Jungle we do all this: Making your Chinese-version website, getting it hosted in China (a necessity for it to be stable and fast), applying for your official WeChat account - as well as all ongoing maintenance and promotion.
We’ve all seen the footballer missing an incredible chance right in front of goal.
Without great storytelling your China marketing effort risks doing just that: Failing on the homestretch.
How frustrating for Frankfurt if all their efforts lead Chinese tourists to go to Germany
- but then choose Munich instead.
In principle it’s simple: The key is to define your city’s unique selling points towards the Chinese target groups - then make sure it is communicated again and again and again - with flavour, fragrance and fun.
Once your Chinese tourists have arrived it is important that they have a great experience - and that they share their story on Chinese travel websites.
At Shanghai Jungle we support cities, attractions and museums, hotels, shops and restaurants in their efforts to give Chinese visitors great on-site experiences.
At Shanghai Jungle we have developed a structured approach for attracting Chinese tourists to European cities, museums, attractions, hotels, restaurants and shops.
We call it The Jungle Funnel.
There is no magic to our method: Its strength lies in a precise targeting of the tourists desires and needs in each of the 4 phases - as well as the continuous reinforcing of our own work by promoting sharing among the followers and tourists themselves.