Talking with some of the experts in the market we have put together a top 10 list of tips and best practices to make your hotel ‘Chinese friendly’ and attract this massively growing market segment.
With around $300 billion spent every year overseas, the Chinese market is incredibly tempting for hotels, but it’s probably the hardest one to penetrate as well. We are always looking to develop our revenue management and distribution strategies for new opportunities. Talking with some of the experts in the market we have put together a top 10 list of tips and best practices to make your hotel ‘Chinese friendly’ and attract this massively growing market segment.
Tip #1: Speak to your tour series and group bookers and find out if they have Chinese clients. You could use this group market to quote ‘opaque rates’ to create base occupancy.
Tip #2: Study their travel habits and create specific packages for the spring festival break!
Tip #3: Something that is normal in western cultures is offensive to Chinese. Do your homework! Having Chinese speaker staff is a very effective, yet, not always possible for small properties. Try adding some Chinese tv programs and a few typical dishes on your menu! And how about partnering with a local Chinese speaking specialist …
Tip #4: Make sure you never assign a room with a “4” in it to a Chinese guest, but prefer rooms with an 8 or a 9
Tip #5: Accept Alipay and WeChat as methods of payment! Don’t forget to mention it on your website
Tip #6: According to the research, over 70% of Chinese travelers use social media as the main channel to organize their trip. Did you know that WeChat has more users than Instagram? Create a WeChat account (possibly a service one) now!
Tip #7: Connect with Chinese OTAs, at least with Ctrip (over 50% of market share and 160 million app downloads) and do not waste money advertising on Google, but try some Baidu ads!
Tip #8: List your hotel on a few Chinese travel guides to increase your brand awareness
Tip #9: If you cannot host your website in China, choose hong kong: it’s slightly easier and load time will be good enough for Chinese web users
Tip #10: Create a dedicated website version for Chinese users and make sure to follow Baidu guidelines for advertising!
Bonus Tip: Add shopping info on your website. A route of department-stores or luxury brand boutiques will be very effective. Also, include details about the closest outlet shopping village. Shopping package could also work well, even think about partnering with a local Chinese private shopping concierge/guide.
THE FINAL WORD
China is a complicated market, especially for the cultural and political differences that divide us. If you want to attract the Chinese traveler to your hotel, you will have to learn and about their habits and preferences. Adapting to their needs and expectations is fundamental to success.
So, in order to penetrate this segment, enhance your hotel management strategy and start following these ten takeaways. Otherwise, they will simply pick another hotel that does …
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