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How hotels and OTAs can draw Chinese tourists


Chinese tourists make up one of the largest group of tourists in the world, and are also top spenders. Travel companies and hotels around the world have focused their efforts on attracting Chinese tourists. Does this segment account for a large proportion of your customers? In this article, Wiitrans has put together insights from authoritative Chinese reports and articles to help you understand the needs of Chinese tourists.


Overall Chinese outbound tourism situation

Large numbers and big spenders The growth of the Chinese economy has raised disposable income per capita, improved transport, sped up visa processing times, and created other factors that have boosted outbound tourism. Based on figures from the China Tourism Academy, 149 million outbound Chinese tourists generated USD 130 billion in spending in 2018. A year-on-year growth of about 14% is expected in 2019.   Trends in Chinese outbound tourism Free & Easy: Group tours were the choice of Chinese tourists in the past, but in the last two years more are going on Free & Easy trips. This is a sign that Chinese tourists are seeking more flexible, immersive, and unique overseas experiences. To draw Chinese tourists, hotels and OTAs should provide more travel information, special features, and language services, as well as employ destination marketing strategies. Family trips: Family trips have been accounting for an increasing proportion of Chinese outbound tourism since 2017. According to a study by the Academy, the number of people that actually went on family trips was much lower than the number that intended to do so. Trips were forgone mainly because the needs of certain family members could not be met due to factors such as the language barriers of older generations, accommodation facilities not being able to fulfill childcare needs, and the lack of trips customized for families. Features of the new Chinese tourist: 70% of those in China who booked outbound travel products in 2019 were in the 22–39 age group, pointing to the emergence of a new profile for Chinese tourists. The new Chinese tourist has higher demands for outbound travel, compared with the “shopaholic Chinese tourist.” According to studies by Nielsen and other agencies, the new Chinese tourist sees travel as the epitome of his or her lifestyle. As such, comfort comes first, which is followed by one’s desire for cultural experiences, exploration, and personalization. They enjoy understanding local cultures, and are happy to spend to reward themselves with a quality experience.   What localization services do I need to get? Chinese tourists prefer seeing to every aspect of a trip online in advance. Hotels, attractions, and OTAs should provide convenient sources of information in Chinese, as well as Chinese-language booking platforms. We have rounded up some of the top Chinese localization services and preferences. Websites To begin with, you must have a version of your website in Chinese, with all user interfaces, banners, and text professionally localized. Content modules and other suggestions Hotels/OTAs/attractions Booking functions Well-produced marketing videos, including product overviews, previews of experiences, service overviews, and travel guides. Adjust settings to suit the habits of Chinese tourists: Payment methods (Alipay & WeChat Pay), social logins and sharing (WeChat, QQ & Weibo), date and time formats, etc. Travel guides & tips Chinese version of customer feedback, reviews, photos, and other UGC Chinese customer service Apps China has the highest rates of smartphone usage in the world. Developing an app or localizing your app would be a wise choice as the Chinese are highly reliant on their phones. With content modules, take note of the pointers for websites, and you may also want to reference the settings of relevant Chinese apps. Adding a link to the phone’s navigation settings will enable users to pull up the map application on their phone easily to locate a place with one tap. Like the app below, you may want to provide a search function for weather information, multiple booking services, a travel guide, an electronic tourist guide, bringing together all the services that customers will need as much as possible to improve convenience and the experience for customers. 2

Wiitrans is the trusted language partner of global hotel and travel brands. With our capabilities in over 40 international language combinations, and linguistic specialists who are well-versed in hotel and travel terminology, we will support your localization needs with engaging copy, customized project workflows and advanced technical support. Our comprehensive high-quality and quick-turnaround localization solutions for websites, multimedia, apps, and marketing materials will ensure that your brand shines and draws in more Chinese tourists.