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EternityX Helps SEA brands capture the Chinese tourism rebound

Richard Andrew, Managing Director of Southeast Asia and Australia EternityX

Thailand and Singapore welcome Chinese travellers, with close to 32 million arrivals in 2019

SINGAPORE – EternityX is helping brands in Southeast Asia (SEA) plan their strategy, launch targeted campaigns and capture pent-up travel demand from Chinese travellers as optimism grows in the region’s tourism industry. The rise in domestic tourism, the reopening of borders and the recent news around several coronavirus vaccines means that travel is once again in lots of people’s plans.

EternityX recently undertook qualitative research with GDS, a Chinese data center developer and operator, on Chinese consumers’ booking and search trends following the travel bubble announcement between China and Singapore in October. Bookings and searches for Singapore flights and hotels surged 313 and 207 percent respectively from September.

EternityX is already working with various lifestyle, luxury, travel and hospitality brands such as Cartier, Piaget, Sands Resorts and tourism authorities like Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT) to get their marketing campaigns into the market.

EternityX worked with the TAT, Beijing Office to promote Thailand as the top destination for health and wellness among Chinese tourists. EternityX ran the campaign from 31 August to 30 September, recommending places to visit and things to do. TAT used EternityX’s platform to identify affluent travel enthusiasts and leveraged native and splash ads, short-form videos and H5 pages. The campaign ran on channels popular among health-conscious consumers such as iQivi, WeChat, MangoTV and SoYoung, generating approximately 22 million impressions and a click-through-rate that was 35 percent higher than expected.

“News on vaccines and the easing of travel restrictions across Southeast Asia point towards a faster recovery for the tourism industry. Consumers are already searching and booking trips. Marketers need to reach their audiences now, as travel is often a six month decision for holidayers[2]. We are already working with brands to bring top-of-mind recall and capitalise on the demand when borders fully reopen,” explained Richard Andrew, EternityX Managing Director of SEA and Australia.

The Chinese international tourist segment is a primary market for SEA. Chinese visitors to the region reached a record last year, with close to 32 million arrivals. 

As China’s travel industry heads towards resurgence, tourism authorities and travel businesses in SEA have begun preparations. Thailand welcomed its first group of Chinese tourists in October with the roll out of its Special Tourist Visa. It is also in talks with China to establish quarantine-free travel by January 2021 to accelerate its travel industry further.

Singapore has also opened its borders, allowing quarantine-free travel for low-risk countries including China from 6 November.Vietnam has allowed travellers in approved categories such as diplomats and investors from Guangzhou.

“Plans are underway to welcome international tourists with China as a key market. We are optimistic that the region’s travel industry will reshape and fully recover over the next few months as island and beach destinations see demand. We are working with EternityX to ensure we are ready to capture that travel demand when borders reopen,” said Jordan Oon, CEO & Founder, HostAStay, Malaysia-based short-stay management platform.

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