The rise of the dragon
According to a recent report from travel giant Amadeus, China’s growth in outbound travel, which as recently as 2005 stood at just 1%, will soon enable it to overtake the USA to become the world’s largest outbound travel market this year. And with the number of Chinese households able to afford overseas travel set to more than double within the next 10 years, this is certainly the time to invest on a marketing plan to target Asian travellers.
Riding on this growth wave, many western countries are now looking at their own policies and strategies towards this booming new market. Just earlier this year Visit Britain launched its new China Welcome initiative, aimed at showcasing, promoting and developing ways in which the UK hospitality and travel operators should cater for the needs of Chinese visitors.At the same time, Tourism Ireland has appointed Travel Link Marketing (TLM) to provide destination representation services in the Chinese market, and launched a new Chinese-language version of its consumer website. Elsewhere in Europe, the Italian national tourism board (ENIT) opened a new office in Beijing, to promote its presence in the Chinese Market, and Frankfurt International Airport started to hire Mandarin-speaking Chinese personal shoppers to give advice on shopping, as well as assist passengers through security and to the gates.
Furthermore, big hospitality chains such as Hilton Worldwide or Marriott are already attracting Chinese guests with targeted programmes. Hilton’s Huanying programme includes from front desk Team Members fluent in Chinese to in-room amenities, and a traditional Chinese breakfast service.
Some facts on Chinese Travellers
Although China is a vast country, and it would be wrong to generalise the Chinese as one big homogenous group, there are some universal characteristics and preferences we can point to.
Making your Chinese guests feel welcome
As any hotelier will tell you, the best way to assure your guests are pleased with their stay is to find out what they like and what they don’t like. Below you’ll find a list of items and services you should consider when trying to make Chinese guests feel at home in your hotel. Click the image for an enlarged version in PDF.
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