Why are we talking about China? Well, there are a lot of reasons to talk about China but for our purposes, we're most interested in the country's changing travel appetite. Like it or not, China's massive population and growing wealth is a great attraction for many countries looking for tourists. At the time of this recording, China's borders remain firmly shut and they practise a Covid Zero policy. But China's residents are raring to go abroad as soon as they're allowed to.
In the second of a two-part series, Professor Wolfgang Georg Arlt shows us where many countries, especially Western, misunderstand the needs of the Chinese tourist and are misfiring in their marketing efforts to attract them. Professor Arlt is the German-based founder and director of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI), and a member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) Panel of Tourism Experts.
Quotes from Episode:
"There was a clear focus on quantity of arrival numbers...This has been a trap. This development looked very nice for the tourism ministers or their annual press conference. But if you look from the industry point of view, how happy have people been with this large group of Chinese visitors or guests? Not very."
"We had a lot of Chinese people that were interviewed in the last year where they said, 'I actually came back to China with some money in my pocket. I wanted to spend more, but I couldn't find a reason'."
"Everybody says the Chinese market is very important, but they have no idea about who are their customers, what their customers really wanted, what they actually really did. And you could see, wow. It boils down to this not very outlandish idea: Know your customer"
-Wolfgang Georg Arlt
-The size of China's group travel post pandemic isn't the biggest issue
-Why a marketing strategy for China needs to go far beyond WeChat and Weibo
-The shift of influencer power from Key Opinion Leaders to Key Opinion Consumers
-The sales app being created for Chinese tourists so they don't have to carry all those souvenirs home
-How the Chinese tourist has changed during the pandemic
-Wolfgang's top 3 tips for destinations that enjoyed high numbers of Chinese visitation
Wolfgang's book recommendation:
Getting Along With TheChinese: For Fun and Profit by Fred Schneiter
Connect with Wolfgang:
LinkedIn: Wolfgang Georg Arlt
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute:
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