Digital Innovation Asia (DIA), in collaboration with ChinaTravelTrends.com and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is holding China Boot Camps to help travel and tourism companies understand the complex Chinese travel market.
Aligned with major travel and tourism events in Bangkok, DIA is organizing China Boot Camps on April 23rd prior to the PATA Annual Summit, and on June 12th post TTM+, Thailand’s major travel trade show.
The Chinese Middle Class is already larger than the entire population of the United States. Chinese demand for international travel is still young. But it is expected to grow by 17% annually over the next decade, driven by rising incomes and aspirations. International travel from China would become a major source of growth for providers in the destination countries. There will be an average of 25 million first-time Chinese travellers every year, or 70,000 every day, for the next 10 years. International travel from China would become a major source of growth for providers in the destination countries. An increasing number of second and multiple times Chinese visitors are more likely to travel independently, and not part of a group, meaning that they have a greater choice of timing and destinations. They have the opportunity to explore ‘off-the-beaten-track’ venues and can look for holidays and activities that suit their personal interests.
According to the latest data from the UNWTO from April 2013, Chinese nationals spent a record US$102 billion on overseas travel 2012, taking it to the top of the international standings and making it the first country ever to achieved nine-digit spending in US dollar terms. The result marks the culmination of a sharp rise in Chinese outbound travel over the past decade. In 2005 China ranked seventh in terms of international tourism expenditure, but quickly overtook Italy and then Japan, to become Asia’s biggest outbound market. It then surpassed France and the UK, and with the 2012 surge, China leaped into first place ahead of top revenue generator Germany and second biggest spender, the USA (both approximately US$84bn). The volume of international trips by Chinese travellers has surged from just 10 million in 2000 to 83m in 2012, and expenditure by Chinese tourists abroad has grown in tandem. Boosted by an appreciating Chinese currency, tourism revenues generated by Chinese travellers surged 40% last year from US$73bn in 2011 to the 2012 figure of US$102bn.
With all that said, the start of the second wave of China’s outbound tourism, will change the Chinese tourists as we know them today. The “New Chinese Tourists”, knowledgeable, sophisticated, travel-savvy and predominantly below 45 years of age, are entering the scene. New Chinese tourists look for deeper experiences and closer contact with local host populations during their self-organized trips. The way many Chinese consumers are finding out about new destinations and travel services, as well as hotel or cruise brands, is via the Internet. With over 564 million Internet users in China in April 2013 (an increase of 40 million new Internet Users in just the last year) which represents over 42% of their population and almost double the population of the US, more than 80% of Chinese travellers research and educate themselves about destinations and brands online. Chinese consumers are at the forefront of tech and digital trends and are greatly increasing their use of computers and mobile phones to research and purchase. Additionally, Chinese consumers are increasingly being influenced by digital and social media marketing – 90% of respondents to a 2011 Forbes survey of more than 300 China-based senior executives indicate that digital and mobile marketing are a critical part of the mix for reaching Chinese consumers, especially the younger and affluent demographic.
But despite these numbers, and China becoming one of the most important tourism source market for many destinations, hotels, cruise lines, attractions, and travel suppliers, due to the complexity of the Chinese market, coupled with a completely different but powerful digital and social media landscape, many travel and tourism organizations are still in the dark on how to attract affluent Chinese consumers. While low-yield mass tour groups are invading destinations, marketing to high-yield Chinese consumers is challenging and requires a different thinking.
In these sessions, the China Boot Camp will help companies understand how to reach and connect with “the new Chinese tourist” and affluent consumers, by leveraging the complex social media landscape in China. Delegates will be able to hear about the latest trends in marketing to Chinese consumers, and learn about the rapidly changing and evolving Digital and Social Media Landscape in China, including the latest start-ups.
Every participant will receive a hard-copy version of the latest Essential China Travel Trends Book (for free e-book download available at www.chinatraveltrendsbook.com), and a special offer for a one-year Basic membership from TripShow.com, valued at RMB 5,000 or USD 800 (Note: Sina Weibo account is required). Don’t miss it if you are looking to get a slice of the most important tourism source market.
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