The importance of looking after Chinese tourists

Chinese tourists are high value market. As the domestic economy continues to strengthen, and cultural values shift to become more in line with consumerist Western attitudes, more and more Chinese are heading abroad in order to see the sights and snatch up a bargain. Yet their idea of a bargain is very different to ours: with luxury goods heavily taxed back home the average Chinese tourist thinks nothing of spending thousands of dollars in a single purchase.

Chinese tourists need to be treated with respect and properly looked after. As well as simply being good business practice, there are plenty of other motivations for ensuring the loyalty of these overseas visitors.

Younger Chinese tourists like to share their experience on social media

71% of travellers in their 20s and 30s find travel inspiration on social media. And they are not hard-pressed to find material: 80% of the same age group share photos of their travels on popular platforms such as Weibo and WeChat (source: Wall Street Journal). The Chinese tourist likes to talk about their experiences, and they have a large audience of people listening for recommendations and tips. Give your Chinese shoppers an experience worth sharing, and through the power of social recommendation they are likely to bring your brand to the attention of other potential travellers.

Chinese consumers view shopping as entertainment

While a day out to the shops is not an unheard-of family activity in the West, Chinese consumers are far more likely to view shopping as more of an occasion than as an essential task. A McKinsey survey found that 73% of Chinese consumers view shopping as a leisure activity, with nearly half of respondents claiming it to be among their favourite activities (source: McKinsey). With shopping still the number one activity for Chinese tourists (source: Attract China), there is clearly a large willingness to spend money abroad – if they can find somewhere that caters to their needs.

The future promises even more affluent Chinese tourists

Future market predictions point to an increase in household income thanks to continued economic growth. It is expected that by 2020, the number of mainstream Chinese households (those earning between $16,000 and $34,000 annually) will account for 51% of all urban households, up from just 6% in 2010 (source: McKinsey). In 2013, the China Tourism Academy predicted that there would be a continued increase in the deficit between internal travel spending and overseas travel spending, after Chinese tourists spent nearly three times as much money abroad as they did at home (source: Bloomberg).

Start marketing now to establish a loyal fan base of future Chinese tourists

With Chinese tourists seeking recommendations from social media, and tending to buy brands that they have heard of, there is a need to establish yourself in the Chinese market, as well as offering an attractive experience to the Chinese visitors in your store. With this market growing, the rewards for planning how to attract the Chinese tourist of tomorrow can be significant. Start marketing now to establish a loyal fan base of future Chinese tourists.

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