As the number of Chinese outbound travelers continues to grow, new opportunities and challenges for destinations around the world are on the rise as well. Given this, 2018 finally saw an impressive uptick of savvy Western destinations and cultural institutions staking their claim to this most desirable travel segment. Here, Jing Travel offers our year-end look at 8 (traditionally a lucky number in China) destination marketing organization (DMO) campaigns aimed at Chinese outbound tourists this year.
British Columbia Sets Its Sights on Winter Travelers
While most destinations focus on the major travel holidays in China (Golden Week in October and summer holidays), Canada’s western province of British Columbia is seeking to attract Chinese travelers interested in winter activities like skiing and snowboarding.
Oregon Gets China-ready
Oregon has been planning to bring in more Chinese tourists for a long time. Travel Oregon even offered courses to help tour operators and service providers better prepare for an influx of Chinese travelers to the Pacific Northwest.
Ireland Teams Up with Nat Geo
Tourism Ireland wanted to highlight its natural beauty by partnering with National Geographic for a photography exhibition that would attract Chinese shutterbugs. The pair even invited Chinese TV star Ren Zhong to shoot a promotional video as part of the campaign.
Little Province, Big Ambition
Nova Scotia isn’t exactly on Chinese tourists’ radars, but that doesn’t mean the eastern Canadian province won’t try to lure them away from the major destinations in the country. In particular, Nova Scotia is banking on promoting nature’s bounty — scenic coastlines and plenty of lobster.
Destination DC Gives Local Businesses a Boost
In an effort to raise the profile of local businesses, Destination DC began offering WeChat marketing support. The DMO had already launched a WeChat mini-program to provide information to Chinese tourists, but it also wanted to help include local businesses to market on the platform.
Santa Monica Makes a Social Media Push
Santa Monica wants to capitalize on Chinese interest in travel to Los Angeles, so it turned to social media like Weibo and WeChat. Despite a limited budget, the city has seen a positive response from Chinese netizens.
Helsinki Offers WeChat Mini-Program Guide
The Finnish capital, which took the crown as the first cashless destination for Chinese travelers, launched a new WeChat mini-program aimed at attracting more independent tourists. MyHelsinki not only helps independent travelers plan an itinerary, it also offers suggestions for last-minute tourism.
UK Tourism Looks to Online Gaming for Inspiration
Most DMOs focus on traditional marketing as well as social media to reach Chinese tourists, but the U.K. is taking a more varied approach with a partnership with tech giant Tencent. VisitBritain hopes to attract a different demographic by highlighting the country’s scenery as a background in the mobile game “QQ Speed.”