2 megatrends drive Chinese 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 (F.I.T.). This mirrors the development seen in all countries around the world - but the change is taking place surprising early and quickly.
In short: Yes!
Modern Chinese are no different than the rest of us: Some love art, some are hooked on history and others love natural sciences - and so on.
Unfortunately for the Chinese - but luckily for Western museums - most museums in China leave much to be wanted. Limited collections and old-fashioned presentations means that all over the world museums witness a growing surge in Chinese visitors indulging in their passions - or simply curious to learn more.
The main challenge for Western museums is not just that Chinese travellers don’t know them in advance. It is that even when searching for information about museums and attractions on the most popular Chinese travel-websites - they often cannot find substantial information. And many often them do not have anything at all.
Luckily the solution is - in principle - straightforward: First ensure that the relevant travel-websites feature good profiles of your museum; then post quality articles, pictures and videos on the same websites (e.g. Mafengwo, Baidu Lvyou, Qiongyou).
To this can of course be added PR in traditional media, working with bloggers and key-opinion-leaders (KOLs), and distributing printed marketing materials to Chinese travellers.
Just as tired as Chinese tourists are of being taken for granted - just as grateful they are when an effort is made to make them feel welcome.
For most museums this is straightforward and inexpensive: The main tools at this stage are a quality Chinese website - hosted in China - and a public WeChat account linked to or mirroring the WeChat account.
Great storytelling is the key to getting the tourists to spend their time at your museum instead of the one next door.
Our approach is simple and has proven efficient: We first take a step back and define your unique selling points in the eyes of the Chinese tourists. Then we tell the story from this angle - again and again, and with as much emphasis on photos and videos as possible.
The channels? Your own public WeChat account, Sina Weibo account - and cooperating with our partners in the online travel media.
Most museums face a real challenge: The exhibition texts supporting the visitor experience are fully available in English - but adding Chinese language to boards on the wall is not a realistic option.
At Shanghai Jungle we have developed an ingenious solution overcoming this obstacle by using WeChat to provide Chinese guests exactly the same visitor experience as English-speaking tourists at a mere fraction of the cost.
We feel confident in claiming that our museum solutions are in a league of their own.
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.