Here’s Jing Travel’s weekly guide to stories that give insight into Chinese travel trends and how they affect the industry’s main players.
Chinese travel trends are continuously evolving. Outbound tourists have found new and exciting adventures across the globe in recent years, and they’re expected to seek new experiences during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, which begins on February 5.
While most international travel plans for the holiday have already been made, there are still plenty of opportunities for local businesses to attract Chinese tourists. More merchants are bracing for holiday travelers by integrating Chinese mobile payment options like as Alipay and WeChat Pay, and institutions are stepping up their advertising campaigns on Chinese social media platforms to help travelers plan their vacation itineraries.
The Philippines Welcomes Chinese Cruise Passengers
The Philippine city of Clark welcomed more than 500 Chinese tourists from the luxury cruise ship MV World Dream, which is owned by the luxury cruise operator Dream Cruises (a subsidiary of the holding company Genting Hong Kong Limited). The Clark Development Corporation said that passengers would visit cultural institutions in the city, including Nayong Pilipino and Clark Museum.
Online Travel Agencies Adapt to New E-commerce Law
China’s new e-commerce law went into effect on January 1, and businesses with an online presence had to quickly adapt to the regulations. Much of the law focuses on daigou shoppers – personal shoppers who purchase luxury goods overseas for customers in China in an effort to skirt taxes – but the law affects online travel agencies as well.
Chinese Tourists Show Growing Desire to Reconnect with Nature
According to data from China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration, domestic tourism to parks and forest areas exceeded 1.6 billion visits last year, accounting for a third of all trips in the country. It’s an indication that Chinese tourists want to escape from cities and enjoy the peace of natural surroundings. This, combined with outbound tourists’ growing interest in road trips, has made marketing rural getaways an important part of China’s current travel landscape.
Booking.com May Have Found a Backdoor to China
While many Western companies have struggled to gain a foothold in China, Booking Holdings has taken a different approach toward entering the Chinese travel market. Of course, Booking has the advantage of an investment partnership with Ctrip.com International to give it a greater profile in China, but that hasn’t stopped the major travel booking website from investing in more Chinese travel startups. The company has reportedly invested more than $1 billion in Chinese companies over the last year.
A Mini-program to Navigate the Airport
It’s not easy to maintain user stickiness on WeChat mini-programs – users can be fickle and are constantly searching for new mini-programs to keep them entertained. But the online travel agency Tongcheng-Elong may have hit on a feature to keep people using their mini-program even after booking travel. The company introduced a virtual airport guide, which so far is only available for the Wuxi Sunan Shuofang International Airport, to give passengers a glimpse of what to expect around their gate.