How these Tourism Boards are decoding the Chinese Traveller Puzzle?

By on August 31, 2016 | Interviews

The recently concluded CXSRITE festival in Xi’an attracted participation from a number of tourism boards across Asia who are focussing on the Chinese travellers. We spoke with representatives from participating countries to understand their strategy for the China market.

Cambodia Tourism’s Strategy for China

Cambodia is very rich in culture and nature. We have a lot of cultural heritage in the form of Angkor Wat and temples. In addition, we are rich in nature and have lot of beaches, mountains and wildlife in Cambodia. We have lot of tourism products that are built for Chinese tourists. In addition, our government policy is very open and inviting. We welcome all tourists around the world irrespective for religion, cast or color.

On Digital

We have worked with CITS (a big tourist company in China with head office in Beijing). We have got the Cambodia tourism website built in Chinese with CITS. In addition, we are almost about to launch the mobile app for Chinese tourists planning to visit Cambodia. We wish to also use platforms like WeChat and Meilishuo in China for attracting Chinese tourist as much as possible.

As per recent reports, Cambodia is expected to attract nearly 1 million Chinese tourists this year and up to 2 millions in 2020, tourism minister Thong Khon.

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Sok Sinarith (Deputy Director Marketing & Promotion Department)

Views from Sri Lanka Tourism Board

To tap Chinese market is the primary focus of any destination. The Chinese tourists are rising in Nepal and we are finding more and more places in China to increase that number. China is the second largest market for us after India. China is an emerging market for us with a growth rate of 70%-80% every year. Last year 2,14,000 Chinese tourists came to Sri Lanka. We have a lot of direct flights from the major cities in China and we are continuously trying to increase the numbers to promote our country in the Chinese market.

On digital

Sri Lanka Tourism is very much focusing on leading websites here in China. We are aware that we need to keep up with the technology and digital trends and we are internally trying to strengthen ourselves in this domain to keep up with the digital trends. In China, everything is online and the trend towards online marketing continuous to grow. There is no doubt that we have to adapt to online medium of marketing. We use channels like weChat and weibo to keep up to the Chinese trend. In addition, we do lot of banner ads with our partners here in China.

Chinthaka Liyanaarachchi (Assistant Director)

Chinthaka Liyanaarachchi (Assistant Director), Sri Lanka Tourism

Insights from Tourism Malaysia

Last year we got 1.62 million from travelers from China to Malaysia and this year we are targeting 2 million travelers from the country. China is a very big market as far as tourists are concerned. We have direct flights started by Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur which has a frequency of 4 times a week. Malaysia does not have a Chinese language problem. Lot of population in Malaysia are Chinese.

Malaysia has a variety of food and Chinese food is easily available in Malaysia. Even on chartered flights, Chinese food is available.Tourism Malaysia has over 40 overseas offices. Each office has yearly market online strategy for their target market. We are targeting youth in different markets and they are mostly available on digital media. In China specially we use WeChat and Weibo because of other social media channels being blocked. The way a tourist travels has changed with the emergence of digital media. Now lot of people are also travelling solo/with families instead of groups. Tourism Malaysia has an official website that is especially available in Chinese language. In addition, every year, we invite famous bloggers/travelers from different destinations to visit our country as a part of digital media strategy.

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Lisa Ning, Marketing Manager, Tourism Malaysia

Excerpts from our conversation with Tourism Board representatives at the Xi’an Silk Road International Tourism Expo 2016, the three-day tourism exhibition held at Qujiang International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Xi’an from 26 to 28 August 2016.

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