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How to target Chinese travellers online

The number of Chinese tourists travelling abroad has grown steadily over recent years, and China is now the world’s largest source of outbound tourism. This number is only set to grow further as more families can now afford the expense and are becoming more interested in exploring foreign countries due to globalisation.

With 772 million people, i.e. 54.6% of the population, 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 target Chinese travellers online, including a look at which platforms are key to success.

1. Travel platforms

At least one out of every five Chinese outbound tourists make their booking using Ctrip. Other popular travel platforms among Chinese tourists include Mafengwo, qyer, Lvmama, and Tuniu. On these websites, users can search for destinations, sights, restaurants and read the experiences of other travellers. 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 travellers are really looking for, the best way is to 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 80.1% of the search engine market share. Sogou is the second most popular with 6.6% of the market share, followed by 360 Search at 3.3%. 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. Approximately 88% of all internet users in China are on at least one social platform and Chinese people spend a lot of time browsing social media platforms. The most important social platforms for the travel industry are:

  • WeChat: This is the biggest social platform in China. It is a lifestyle app with many features.
  • Weibo: Another huge social platform in China. It is similar to Twitter.
  • Douban: This trendy platform is where many young Chinese people find travel partners.
  • Zhihu: This is a question-and-answer website, similar to Quora.

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

  • how many Chinese people currently travel abroad
  • important characteristics of these travellers, such as their ages and who they like to travel with
  • the most popular holiday types
  • the most popular destinations
  • the key factors that affect Chinese travellers’ decisions
  • the most effective digital marketing strategies to reach Chinese travellers, including website translation, SEO, PPC, blogging, 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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