by Grace Fitzgerald
Day 1. Sept. 23. World Food Travel Summit 2013.
Social Media and the Chinese Bubble
There are over 83 million Chinese tourists per annum, spending 100 billion US dollars. For 60% of them? It’s their first time abroad and so they are accordingly still very ‘Chinese’ in behaviours and norms. They travel in groups of friends or several families together. And as visas are still not easily obtainable, it’s easier to go via tour operators. The four types of Chinese tourist are tour groups of first time travellers, those on company incentive trips, family groups, and students and their families.
Yi explained how Chinese generally think. Recognition of status is key and they are highly connected online—as this is more trustable than government and advertising is granted a similar mistrust. And so social media has become the key to communicating in China. They BLOG like no other. Good content can easily go viral. Yi emphasises how word-of-mouth is everything in China.
Wealth is newfound in China, so new spending habits have to be created for the 500 million middle class Chinese, equal to the entire EU population. Other points to note about the modern Chinese tourist? The monocultural aspect. This leads to a language barrier and leads to the tourist travelling in a ‘bubble’ with their group. But they are adventurous and will try everything. Yi concluded with the key to communications with the modern Chinese tourist; Social Media.