Lindsay Taub

Why You Should Be Keeping an Eye on the Chinese Travel Market

2011-11-04 by Lindsay Taub

It was recently brought to my attention while on a trip in Canada that there are 10 million millionaires today in China. That’s more than there are people in Canada. It was an astounding number. And with some projections seeing that number quadruple by 2015, there’s more than a few reasons to pay attention. Travel and tourism, for one.

Last year, a record 56 million mainland tourists traveled overseas, according to the China National Tourism Administration, an increase of 8.3 million over 2009.

“China’s tourism has entered a new round of golden development, thanks to fast economic development, the growth of people’s incomes and further opening-up,”  said Shao Qiwei, the head of Chinese tourism. Industry analysts say this is the first time in history that the number of mainland tourists going overseas has exceeded that of inbound tourists.

So what does it all mean?

With Internet options more limited and social networks like Facebook inaccessible, tourism and hospitality professionals have to find other means to reach those millions of millionaires who not only want to travel, but who also want to do it in style, staying at the best places, with luxury at their fingertips, and simple convenience a top priority.

Enter Chichaku.

Chichaku is the first website of its kind, based in Vancouver, B.C. that will target and accommodate the Chinese travel market. They have content in both English and Mandarin, and most importantly, they know their audience. They have spent countless hours researching the data, compiling the statistics, and discovering what it is that makes Chinese travelers tick. They know what is expected and how to best supply and deliver the information.

The start-up site, which was created last year and initially focused on travel to Canada is launching additional markets at the World Travel Market Conference this month in London. Those markets include North America and Europe, with no end in sight to expansion plans.

Two of my journalist friends and I worked with Chichaku this Fall, writing and editing the Southern California content.

As we keep our eyes on what the Chinese will do next, on every level from economics to politics to travel, let’s not forget their own publicity campaign to encourage tourism to China.

If you’ve been to New York this year, you may have seen the “Made in China” commercial in New York’s Times Square, showing prominent Chinese elites and celebrities like basketball star Yao Ming and China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei. The ad campaign, which has also been shown in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, aimed to stress the importance of cooperation between Chinese companies and overseas partners in producing quality products, in what was intended to be a friendly, approachable message.

Stay tuned… 敬请期待…

Tags: Chichaku, China, Chinese, featured, Tourism, Travel, trends

Posted in Features, Travel |

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