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 any country around the world - but the change is taking place surprising early and quickly.
The switch from group tourism to FIT creates new opportunities for hotels all over the world.
The challenge is straightforward: Where and how to attract them.
At Shanghai Jungle we specialise in China FIT solutions - and have developed a specific set of tried and tested services for Western hotels.
Westerners use booking.com, hotels.com and similar websites to identify and book the hotel of their own choice.
The modern Chinese are no different - with the important difference that they primarily use their own websites: qiongyou.com, qunar.com, ctrip.com - to name just a few.
We help our clients get listed with quality translated texts and pictures.
A number of Chinese booking websites cooperate with booking.com and link to booking.com’s Chinese website: 缤客.
Unfortunately the result is rarely good as the vast majority of 缤客’s Chinese descriptions are made using the equivalent of Google translate.
It’s marketing ABC really: Poor and confusing language send all the wrong signals to the traveler: The very opposite of respect and appreciation.
Fortunately the solution is straightforward: Replace the low quality text with a proper translation emphasising your hotel’s commitment to your Chinese guests.
As the battle for the Chinese tourists intensify they have also grown a lot more demanding - and for hotels with a serious interest in Chinese tourists having a Chinese language website is quickly becoming the norm.
For your Chinese website the key is that the presentation of the hotel mustbe off high quality - while actual bookings can be redirected to the English language version.
One thing is attracting the Chinese guests - another to make sure they have a great stay.
Many consultants overcomplicate it - to make themselves important and to charge more. But much can be done for a very limited budget. A Chinese language version of the Guest Manual goes a long way - and if combined with a Chinese welcome card there won’t be a dry eye.
For the more ambitious hotels basic Chinese dishes - some of which are very, very easy to make - especially for breakfast, and a selection of Chinese teas and snacks should also be considered.
At Shanghai Jungle we have developed a hands-on approach to helping our hotel clients increase the number of Chinese guests - and to boost the quality of their stay.
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.