Tag Archives: tourism

Author: Neishya Harrison

Chinese New Year. Spring Festival. The Golden Week. Whatever you want to call it, the upcoming February 8 holiday is the no. 1 cultural festival in China. Ahead of even Singles Day in terms of notoriety, Chinese New Year is responsible for what is possibly the largest annual mass migration on the planet. All over the country, over 100 million workers abandon their city jobs, returning to their hometowns to celebrate the New Year with their families.

Online retailers such as Taobao are slashing prices to encourage consumers to splurge when welcoming in the New Year. For many foreign companies, especially those in e-commerce, the annual holiday and virtual shutdown of commercial activity requires planning as many Chinese suppliers may cease or significantly diminish operations during the period.

This year of the monkey will also see a continuation of the trend that sees huge numbers of Chinese travellers heading abroad to celebrate the New Year.

While an expected 2.9 billion domestic trips are estimated to be made during the Spring Festival period, triggering a massive overload to the country’s transportation systems, more and more Chinese are opting to take their celebrations abroad. Ctrip.com International, the popular online travel agency, anticipates that over 6 million outbound trips by Chinese tourists will be made, setting a new ‘Golden Week’ travel record.

Airlines such as Air Asia, Air China and Cathay Pacific have all added additional flights to their rosters to accommodate skyrocketing volumes of outward-bound travel over the period. Mafengwo.cn a tourism information sharing website claim that online bookings per capita for international travel are up 30% this year as well.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 722 200 overseas visitors came to Australia in February 2015, up 14.4% on the previous year. Of that number, 164 000 were Chinese. This year Chinese arrivals are expected to increase. Similarly between 70 000 and 75 000 Chinese are expected to visit New Zealand in February, a 35% increase on the same period last year. Akin to this information, chinadaily.com.cn the reputable English language newspaper published in the PRC, has claimed that Australia is always a popular destination for Chinese tourists.

Even despite the recent economic slowdown, this Chinese New Year period is expected to be a busy one. With average spending for Chinese tourists expected to exceed 10 000 RMB ($2200 AUD). Prominent industry insiders at China Tourism Academy have also claimed that the prospects for high-end tourism are bright as Chinese travellers continue to break records, making an average of 4 billion trips annually.

With Australia’s resource based exports on the decline, Tourism is fast becoming one of the country’s most important offerings to Chinese consumers.

Reported as being ‘the next mining boom’ by some, tourism has become Australia’s second largest export earner at $102 billion, and in New Zealand, our closest competitor, is predicted to surpass Dairy as the country’s most significant export. Tourism Australia expects aggregate spending from Chinese tourists to double to around $13 billion by 2020. Sydney also hosts one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of China – so there is great potential for the Australian tourism sector during the Golden Week.

But while the mass exodus of Chinese travellers overseas is a potential boon to our Tourism industry on the whole, it does not come without its challenges. To many local operators the greatest challenge comes in the form of the language barrier. Hiring staff with knowledge of Mandarin during the busy February period is common practice, and the pressure is now on for Australian businesses to upgrade their facilities and services in order to compete for lucrative Chinese tourist dollars.

In order for your business to take advantage of trends in the Chinese market it is important to consult an expert on brand strategy with particular focus on the Chinese market. For more information on the significance of Chinese New Year to your business, or to find out how your business can tap into the Chinese market, contact 3mandarins today and commission a China Opportunities Business Report.

From all of us at 3mandarins祝大家新年快乐!

Author: Neishya Harrison

A comprehensive understanding of the Chinese Calendar will put your business in an ideal position to capitalise on changing Chinese consumer behaviour.

 

Unsurprising to many, the Chinese calendar is very different to the Western one. However, what is not commonly known is the effect that this has on Chinese yearly consumer behaviour. This misunderstanding of key events means many businesses are missing out on vast engagement opportunity and significantly hampering their market potential. For those new to the China market it can be quite disorienting to discover their marketing strategy can be virtually flipped on its head when first engaging Chinese consumers. But with sound judgement, what is initially a stumbling block can be turned to your advantage.

 

There are a number of Chinese holidays that are of particular importance to businesses in the e-commerce and tourism sectors. The most obvious example is Golden Week, a semi-annual 7 day national holiday held over Chinese New Year (January or February) and National Day (October). Three days of paid holiday are given, and the surrounding weekends are rearranged so that workers in Chinese companies always have seven continuous days of holiday. This results in the highest number of Chinese people travelling internationally at any time of the year. And for a country that already boasts the largest outbound tourism market, such an opportunity represents immense potential for the tourism sector.

 

Often Western businesses engaging with Chinese consumers expect the Christmas and Chinese New Year sales to be the main driver from the market, however, the real behemoth of Chinese consumption, ‘Singles Day’ consistently outperforms all other holidays in terms of sales. In fact, Singles day (also known as ‘11/11’) 2014 became the largest online shopping day in the world, generating a US$5.8 billion sales record in Alibaba’s sites Tmall and Taobao in 2014. Despite this, ‘Singles Day’ goes relatively unnoticed, attracting little in the way of targeted marketing campaigns by Western companies. We would attribute this to a significant lack of cultural understanding on the part of many Western companies who erroneously expect worldwide consumer trends to be replicated within China.

 

Interestingly, as the younger generation begins to participate more actively in the Chinese market, the importance of Western holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Christmas have gained significant prominence. This is an inevitable consequence of the increasing infusion of Chinese and Western cultures. Nonetheless, Chinese holidays maintain their status and with the increasing size of the middle class this will only become more apparent.

 

We know it can take some time to become accustomed to the Chinese Calendar and to develop a communication style and voice that fits both the Chinese cultural context and your brand identity. However, a clear understanding of the Chinese calendar is a simple method of deriving vital insight into the consumer’s mindset as well as allowing marketers to optimise promotional activities and event planning. A successful implementation of this strategy will undoubtedly serve to enhance your business’s market potential.

For more information about how your business can take advantage of the Chinese consumer Calendar and to tap into Chinese online retail and tourism markets get in touch with 3mandarins at www.3mandarins.com/get-in-touch/