Market your Hotel to Chinese tourists

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China has the biggest outbound tourism activity in the world. As more and more Chinese tourists travel abroad, it is an ideal and lucrative opportunity for hotels around the world to cater to this audience. For those hotels that want to make the most of serving this growing market and increasing their business, promoting their brand via a combination of integrated services is essential.

Targeting the Chinese audience as international travel grows must be multi-faceted, because it is a unique population that treats travel practices differently than its Western and European counterparts. Additionally, Chinese travelers are a diverse group with many different dialects and customs. Hotels must look at a variety of ways to leverage the Chinese market in order to build brand and maximize bookings.

To start, hotels must have a social and digital strategy across multiple platforms. In addition to a website for booking, the Chinese use online booking platforms and social networks. Unlike other parts of the world, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, and other social media are prohibited in China. To engage Chinese tourists, promotion on WeChat, which is China’s leading social media app, is crucial. A cross-platform, instant messaging service that was created in China, WeChat has hundreds of millions of users. Besides talking, texting, broadcasting, video conferencing, and sharing photos, WeChat users use it for researching, shopping, and making travel arrangements. One of the most important aspects of social media marketing is interacting with other users and customers. Responding to comments and posts on WeChat can make lasting impressions. For hotels looking to attract Chinese tourists, WeChat helps with language barriers. Through an official account or mini program, the entire booking process – from room selection, reservation, and payment – can be done in their own language.



Also central for hotels to attract Chinese travelers is optimizing their website. Website design must be visually appealing and functional on mobile. Content must be fresh, testimonials must be relevant, and it must have positive online comments, reviews, and ranking. Most importantly, the booking process must be simple and efficient. Other marketing techniques that can make a website more useful for targeting this audience are conveying experiences based on stories, including videos, and incorporating gamification into the selling process.

Promotion through key opinion leaders can be an effective selling channel, as well. Having someone who is highly regarded by the Chinese community acting as an ambassador for the hotel could contribute significantly to enhancing reputation and securing Chinese bookings. Leveraging their large online presence and followers by sharing their opinions with the Chinese audience will help promote the brand.

Advertising room availability on key distribution channels should be another part of a hotel’s multi-pronged marketing strategy. Partnering with popular online Chinese and international travel agencies (OTAs) is an effective way to improve distribution power and attract Chinese tourists to the hotel.

Before developing and implementing a marketing strategy to attract Chinese tourists, it is important to understand this audience’s interests, habits, and values. In China, a strong marketing strategy for hotels should focus on a combination of digital and social media, key influencers, advertising, and partnerships with Chinese OTAs to promote brand, reach target audiences, and generate sales.

Tolmao Group is a full-service agency that develops strategic and comprehensive marketing plans. They unite brands with specific target audiences through live experiences, digital engagement, and traditional marketing. With insight, creativity, and perfect execution, they bring messages to life for a variety of brands. For hotels seeking assistance with targeting Chinese tourists, contact Tolmao Group.

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