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How to target Chinese travellers online

This blog post was updated on 26 October 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the international tourism industry, with strict travel rules meaning holidays were firmly off the itinerary. But, as the world gradually opens back up, we should feel confident that international travel will recover. One important group of travellers for travel brands is Chinese tourists. This group accounts for a large proportion of visitors in many of the world’s major tourism centres.

With 989 million people in China being online, one very important way that you can reach the lucrative Chinese travel market is using digital marketing. However, the platforms that Chinese people use to search and book holidays are very different from the ones you might be used to in the West.

This blog post explains how to attract Chinese tourists online, including a look at which platforms are key to success.

1. Travel platforms

Online travel platforms have become a very popular choice for Chinese tourists. The most popular online travel platforms are Ctrip, Mafengwo, Qyer, Fliggy and Tuniu. On these websites, users can search for destinations, sights, restaurants and read the experiences of other tourists. They also offer a cheap and convenient way to book tours and hotels. Qunar is another popular platform for booking flights and hotels. In order to gain insights into what Chinese tourists are really looking for, you should go to these platforms and discussion forums. Appearing on these websites will help increase your brand awareness.

2. Search engines

Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, with 78.4% of the search engine market share. Sogou is the second most popular with 13.8% of the market share, followed by Haosou at 2.2%. Given the clear dominance of Baidu, this is where you should focus your SEO and PPC efforts when doing search marketing in China.

3. Social media

Social media is incredibly popular in China. In January 2021, there were 930.8 million active social media users in China. The most important social platforms for the travel industry are WeChat, Weibo, Douban and Zhihu.

I hope this has given you a useful introduction to how to attract Chinese tourists online. For more in-depth information, read the free, full-length guide here. The guide covers:

  • the key characteristics of Chinese tourists
  • the most popular holiday types
  • the most popular destinations
  • the impact of COVID-19
  • the most effective digital marketing strategies to reach Chinese travellers, including website translation, SEO, PPC, blogging and social media
  • the key Chinese travel platforms you need to be on
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Fangting Xu

Translation Project Manager at Webcertain
Fangting Xu is a Translation Project Manager at Webcertain. She obtained a Master’s degree in Translation Studies and Translation Technology from Finland. She has been an English tutor and translator for many years. Fangting loves learning new languages as well as watching movies, going to concerts and travelling. Originally from China, Fangting now lives in the UK.

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