Author: Carolin Hasshoff, Senior Sales Consultant, HGBU EMEA Presales
Have you ever stayed in a hotel and been surprised at the breakfast buffet? This recently happened to me. Spring rolls, noodles and hummus were served for breakfast – an unusual experience, indeed, for a European! The hotel I was staying at had decided to cater to specific cultures and their preferences. It’s a really smart move.
欢迎光临 – Welcome! The free independent traveler is coming.
A young, tech-savvy, new class of Chinese tourists is emerging. Their travel experience and purchasing power are constantly increasing; therefore, instead of looking for group travel, they are pursuing individual experiences in authentic hotels. Relaxed visa requirements also are allowing them to discover the world in record numbers.
In addition to the country’s leading online travel agents, Ctrip and eLong, social media is used extensively in China, both as inspiration and source of information on travel. The "experience sharing” is extremely important, and it cannot be surprising that travelers who enjoy sharing their experiences also are greatly influenced by the recommendations of friends and peers. Major international platforms such as Google and Facebook are blocked in China, so many alternatives with varied focuses have been developed. The major and most dominant Chinese social media and buying platform is WeChat. This app is used for recommendations, blogging, sharing images and videos, and also as a final booking source.
Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come. – Chinese Proverb
We suggest you offer this new breed of Chinese travelers something special and unique to their culture – give them a sense of familiarity.
In addition to spring rolls for breakfast, consider offering these guests high-tech rooms; perhaps, add Chinese TV channels to your inventory or attempt to assign rooms containing the number 8 (because 8 is considered a lucky number in China). Or why not attempt to break through the language barrier by offering Chinese language services?
Considering the importance of weChat and the power of peer recommendations, what if your front desk staff compiled a set of local experiences that provide fantastic photo opportunities?
Making small improvements to your service could reap benefits, including increased bookings from travelers out of this region.
Gone is the time when mobile bookings were only made last minute. And with China now the fastest-growing mobile market, we urge you to make sure that your website is optimized – from a language and content aspect – for the requirements of its travelers. This might be a greater investment, but one that likely will be worth it.
These are a few ways that can help you embrace and win the fast-growing Chinese market. If you’re interested in learning more, we will be pleased to support you. With Oracle Hospitality products and integrations, there are many ways to engage this new generation of travelers.
Contact us for further questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: oracle.com/hospitality.. We are happy to assist.