Here are China’s top tourism business news that you need to know from this week:
Chinese Valentine’s Day Fast Facts
The Chinese Valentine’s Day (Qixi) falls on Friday, August 17th this year, making it a great opportunity for couples to spend the weekend on a short vacation. Here are some quick facts on how OTAs and brands are leveraging the festival:
- According to Tuniu, most domestic travelers booked 3-night trips priced at around RMB 3500 ($508). Luxury hotel experiences and visiting nearby landscape attractions are two of the favorite trip themes. Accommodation booking happened as early as 42 days prior to the festival. For higher-end travelers, islands and beaches are the top choice. Southeast Asian countries are the most popular travel destinations. Tuniu has launched a campaign for secluded island stays and beach weddings in the Maldives.
- Ctrip cooperated with Wang Yibo, a Chinese actor and singer, to market a promotional video encouraging customers to be bold in making travel arrangements. Ctrip has been selling travel vouchers worth RMB 1,770 ($256) at only RMB 1 ($0.1).
- Nike will launch a Qixi exclusive couple sneaker on the day of the festival, retailing at RMB 699 ($102).
- An array of luxury brands cooperated with China’s A-list superstars to launch Qixi inspired collections.
- Condom brand, Okamoto, and bubble tea chain, Heytea, collaboratively launched a limited edition “Qixi Package” that includes both companies products.
- Mailman X’s Take: We have seen OTAs and brands creating stories to tie in with the festival. Collaboration for campaigns, product launches or resource exchanges are becoming more common practice in China. We have seen a growing trend for growing purchasing intention and power on special events and DMOs should find a way to utilize it. Cooperating with local brands, creating unique and sentimental story, offering clear benefits and call to actions for potential consumers are all successful strategies. Most importantly be bold, creative and stand out from the crowd.
Turkish Hotel Bookings Soars 200% After Lira Plunges
According to Ctrip data, the 40% drop of the Turkish lira earlier this year has contributed to this summer’s 200% rise in hotel bookings. Hotels in Istanbul, Goreme, Antalya, Fethiye and İzmir have been shown to be the main beneficiaries. In January to May 2018 alone, Turkey welcomed 160,000 Chinese visitors, 96% rise YoY. It is forecasted that 400,000 Chinese tourists will visit Turkey this year. Read here for more (Chinese).
- Mailman X’s Take: Searches on Turkish tour packages increased by 150% within one night, luxury stores are packed with Chinese tourists lining up to get “discounted items” and Ctrip stopped accepting Turkish lira amid exploitation of the currency’s fluctuation by paying in lira and asking for refunds in Chinese yuan.
Also this week:
China Southern to Launch Shenyang – Los Angeles Direct Flight
The new route will take off on December 18th, giving the capital of China’s northeastern Liaoning province and the West Coast city their first non-stop connection. China Southern will fly this route three times a week, and will codeshare with American Airlines. Click here for more (English).
China Drives Asia’s Cruise Industry
In 2017, a total of 1,049 cruises set sail from Chinese ports, carrying 2.43 million passengers, 10 times more than in 2010. This growth makes China the largest cruise passenger source in Asia and second largest in the world. It is projected that China’s cruise market will see 14 million customers and generate RMB 460 billion total revenue by 2035. Find out more here (Chinese).
Hotels.com Releases Chinese International Travel Monitor Report
The report covers changes in Chinese tourists’ planning and spending behaviors along with recommendations on how marketers should adapt. It highlights how young, affluent Chinese travelers are traveling further, choosing the less beaten roads, and therefore are spending more. The digital savvy Chinese tourists are more inclined to have experience-oriented trips, and are not shy to share their memories on social media. Click here for the report (English).
A Phillipines Casino Accepts Both Alipay and WeChat Pay
Manila’s Solaire Casino now accepts the Chinese payment services AliPay and WeChat Pay, which will allow visitors to use the services for casino and gaming purchases, entertainment, lodging, food and any other spending activities. The timing of the deal falls in line with an increase in Chinese tourists visiting the Philippines. It is predicted that as many as 1.5 million Chinese will visit the country by the end of this year. Click here to find out more (English).
Sri Lanka Inks Agreement with Fliggy to Welcome 1,000 Travelers Weekly
The agreement includes launching Sri Lanka pavilion on Fliggy and populating it with unique content, covering ecotourism, biodiversity, tea cultivation, Buddhist studies and history, wildlife, and more. In exchange, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau will implement and promote the usage of Alipay in the country. Find out more here (English).