Local tourism partnership will play a significant role in stimulating Chinese international travel demand

Local tourism partnership will play a significant role in stimulating Chinese international travel demand

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Published on : Friday, March 19, 2021

Chinese international travel demand

Getting familiarized to Chinese preferences, including promoting on the prime social media channels of China, and engaging with the tour operators of the country, will play an important role to perking up the demand of international travel among Chinese tourists, according to GlobalData.

The recent report of the company, Tourism Source Market Insight: China, has disclosed that in 2020, international departures have dropped by 52.5 per cent due to Covid-19 outbreak.

The survey of GlobalData Covid-19 Recovery has found that in December 2020, international travel demand among Chinese respondents was quite low compared to June 2020. The surveys has also suggested that 59 per cent of 500 Chinese respondents polled declared they would ‘somewhat’ or ‘strongly disagree’ with the statement ‘I will consider booking an international trip this year’ in December in comparison to 54 per cent in June 2020.

To quote Johanna Bonhill-Smith, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, “Covid-19 and fears of xenophobia are both threatening the prospects of international departures from China. Additional steps are critical to interact with Chinese citizens to help spark international travel demand when travel is more easily accessible.

“Adapting to Chinese offerings such as hosting a website with Chinese language preferences or selling local tours and excursions in Mandarin can all add to the quality of a Chinese tourist’s experience. A destination that makes Chinese tourists feel welcome may be the first to see an increase in post-pandemic travel.”

“Digital engagement across all verticals such as promotion, payment, advice and general experiences have always been desirable factors for Chinese tourists, but for post-pandemic travel, this will grow in importance. China’s prime social media channels differ from the Western world with apps such as WeChat, Weibo and Douyin that are heavily used.

Accepting payments from WeChat or Alipay, for example, can benefit across the travel and tourism supply chain – from a company and destination perspective.”

A partnership with the tour operators of China is another way that can be availed. GlobalData said that Chinese travelers have pinpointed an aspiration for familiar and trustworthy products in the survey poll. Local operators will characteristically have first-hand experience while promoting to Chinese, and therefore, have greater leverage when servicing this market. Trip.Com Group, for example, dominates the OTA market all over China and has repeatedly formed partnerships with companies worldwide.

To quote Bonhill-Smith, “Even though 85 per cent of its international departures are focused on destinations across the Asia-Pacific region, China regularly features in the top 10 international arrivals for destinations across the Middle East and Europe. It is the largest and most lucrative source market globally, so engagement is now critical to battle any anti-Chinese/racism fears and stimulate future travel demand of the Chinese tourists.”

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