Welcome to this week’s China Ready Round-Up.
Last week, travel news website Skift interviewed the Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organisation, Taleb Rifai. In his interview, Mr Rifai made several important points on the significance of the tourism industry. However, his comments on Chinese tourists were particularly relevant, so I’ve excerpted them in full (my emphasis added). This is what he had to say:
The outbound, it is clear now that China has established itself as number one destination in the world, the last five, six years. Not only has it established itself as the first outbound destination, it’s by far outpaced — 130 million Chinese traveled in 2015. Growth was more than 30% over the year before. Just think about it. In the year 2000, China only sent 10 million international tourists. From 10 million to 130 million…
The important thing is not just in numbers. The important thing is the ability, these tourists, these travelers, to have an economic impact that’s even higher than others. Now look. 130 million are spending $290 billion. That means there’s more than $2,000 per traveler per trip spent every year. That’s almost 80% higher than the world average public expenditure per tourist. Chinese, when they go visit somewhere, they spend their money, their friend’s money, their neighbor’s money, and their creditor’s money. They go shopping, they buy things, they take back. It’s incredible, their impact on the economy is incredible.
The places where the Chinese can go are now unlimited. They’re not just going to Paris and Rome and and London. They’re going to all of these secondary destinations…
There is a wrong perception, a wrong assumption, that you need to cater for the Chinese visitors in a special way in terms of food, in terms of habits. That is absolutely unsubstantiated. The only thing you need to cater for probably is the language, like in any other group of people. They need to have Chinese speaking guides, they need to have literature in Chinese, probably menus if possible. Whatever you can do to improve the communication would help. To assume that Chinese people want to go to Sri Lanka or to the Maldives to eat Chinese food or to have the Chinese tea or to eat at 12 instead of two, that’s wrong. They go there because they want to see something different, because they want to try something different…
[D]o not go out of your way to become more Chinese than the Chinese themselves. Just receive them as they are. The only effort that needs to be done is to make sure that you can improve communication. Otherwise, they want to go there to see something different, not to emulate their own culture and and such, like any other visitor around the world.
So, improving communication is key to attracting Chinese tourists. For your business, that may mean translating your materials into Chinese, or perhaps training your staff to better handle Chinese guests. Regardless, we’re here to help – get in touch today for a free consultation to see how you can communicate more effectively to a Chinese audience.
- Sydney Airport to welcome new China Eastern Airlines Hangzhou service in November: Hangzhou will become the 12th Chinese city to have direct flights to Sydney. The new route is expected to bring 22,000 Chinese visitors to Sydney and contribute an anticipated $88 million in additional visitor expenditure per year.
- Expert says sanctions from South China Sea dispute would be short-lived: An increasingly belligerent China represents a risk to Australian tourism but any potential boycott would likely to be short-lived at worst, according to Noel Scott, deputy director at the Griffith Institute for Tourism.
- Alibaba launches Australian wine store: More great news for Australian wine producers, with Alibaba’s flagship website, Tmall, launching an Australian wine store.
- Free webinar on using Chinese social media: Another way to improve communication to Chinese tourists is through social media, and Tourism Australia recently held a webinar on this topic. You can watch it on demand or download the presentation slides as a PDF.
- Study finds Chinese student travellers in Australia want something to talk about: Chinese students in their first year of studies in Australia are emerging as a new market for regional and outback tourism destinations.
- Chinese Online Booking Giant Ctrip Readies Itself for Global Expansion: China’s largest online travel player wants to get more global so it can serve travelers outside of China while domestically it is taking profits from high-end hotel-room sales and investing them into subsidizing the rates at lower and mid-priced hotels.
- Mobile Payments Become Ubiquitous for China’s Tech-Savvy Shoppers: According to the results of a recent Nielsen survey, 99% of Chinese online shoppers now use mobile payment apps, up from 96% last year.
- Investors bet big on Chinese tourism in Las Vegas: Two new Asian-themed casinos will feature “familiar foods, Chinese-speaking service employees and the table game of choice, baccarat”.