In 2013 Spain received around 230.000 Chinese tourists, 33% more than the previous year. Globally, it is estimated that in 2013, 97 milion Chinese traveled abroad. This said, we need to take into account that 70% of Chinese travel domestically, and only 7% do it outside China.
Due to the growth of Chinese tourism many traveling agencies, resorts and in general hotels and restaurants have made it one of their main goals to attract more clients from the Asian superpower.
Therefore, it is reasonable that the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism has set the goal to reach a million Chinese tourists by 2020.
The question is: How can we attract the Chinese tourist? What are they looking for? What do they like and what do they not? What do we need to change to turn Spain and Catalonia two of their favourite destinations?
All these questions and many more were discussed during the “Second World Conference Chinese Friendly Cities“, which was held in Zaragoza las 27 and 28 of March. Two days full of presentations, symposia and debates featuring a great number of people, companies and entities related to tourism, and focused mainly in Chinese tourism.
Following we offer you 10 statements that sum up, briefly, what Baidewei would highlight from those two days. It’s not enough to know it all, but we hope it will help you understand, know and analyse what profile the Chinese tourist that comes travels to Spain has, and what we need to take into account to make sure he or she is comfortable, that he or she leaves satisfied, and most important, that he or she wants to come back:
1. What do Chinese look for? LEISURE, HEALTHCARE, GASTRONOMY, NATURE, ARCHITECTURE AND SHOPPING.
About culture: it might be interesting to include traditional, folkloric and more regional, local aspects. Such as dancing, food and curious activities.
2. 82% of Chinese consider “shopping” a main goal during the trip: It is, therefore, a significant fact to be taken into account when we prepare the itinerary. At the same time, it would be a plus if some of the establishment they will visit allowed to pay with UnionPay (Chinese Banking organization), since many chinese don’t have a credit card.
3. “Those short trips of few days visiting many countries are already a past tendence. Now they prefer more profound trips and more self service, more freedom.” (Jinjing Shen, Barcelona University, Beijing University).
4. Chinese value SAFETY. Therefore, we need to provide good indications and recommendations when it comes to going for a walk and visiting places where it is more probable to me mugged. This does not mean we need to scare them, but to warn them so they avoid possible scare.
5. Have a Chinese flag at the hotels. With time more hotels and restaurants are prepared for Chinese tourism, with Chinese personnel or local people who speak Chinese. It would also be good to incorporate the Chinese flag. The guest will see this as a welcoming gesture that will be highly appreciated. Here also, as when we discussed shopping, would be an added value to accept UnionPay payments.
6. The Chinese market is not exclusive to 4-5 star hotels. We need to be able to detect what kind of tourist arrives and offer the right type of hotel. The idea of all those Chinese travelling being millionaires isn’t true. On the other hand, hotels should offer among their breakfasts a section with warm meals such as noodles, soups, etc. Because even though the Chinese tourist will be willing to try new things, he or she will most likely miss eating Chinese food. And breakfast is probably the meal we are more reluctant to change.
7. Recently, Spain became the biggest wine producer in the world in front France and Italy. Therefore it is a good idea to promote enoturism, offering wine tasting sessions, visits to wineries and learning how to sell our wines in an attractive, different way.
Wines appreciated by Chinese: Mild, sweet, with a final lasting good taste in the mouth.
8. BUILDINGS/ARCHITECTURE. Thanks to the relevance of architects like Gaudí, Catalonia, and more specifically Barcelona, are worldwide well-known attractions. A well-know fact by the Chinese tourist. Our buildings are therefore a must and a sure success.
9. Golf tourism: Golf is becoming a sport with many adepts in China, but not all cities have the facilities and conditions to play it. Offering this activity can give our program a dynamic and sportive twist.
10. Material souvenirs: for chinese, going back home and not having anything material to show family and friends they were there, is like not having been there. If aside from the pictures they can also buy souvenirs, the more original the better, not only will they be satisfied, but also they will better recommend our country to their compatriots. (Example: Stamp passport from Shanghai Expo 2010)
We hope this 10 suggestions will be useful for you, and remember that if you need further information you can always contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org