China consumer marketing consultancy China Luxury Advisors have released some new survey research findings on the use of travel shopping and booking platforms in mainland China.
- Chinese OTA Ctrip is the platform most used for both trip planning and booking.
- Other popular platforms include:
- In the travel market, more influential in shaping opinions than reviews by friends and family are OTAs and online forums like:
- Top sources of inspiration re travel destinations:
- Online travel forums
- Personal recommendations by friends and family
- Posts on social media
- Official destination website or social-media account
- Film and television are still influential, particularly for those traveling to:
- Latin America (cited by 73%)
- UK (72%)
- France (69%)
- North America (68%)
- Chinese travelers are using OTAs like Ctrip and Figgy more than any other resources for booking travel arrangements.
For Western tourism destinations and businesses:
Note the almost total absence from those lists of Western online platforms - the only exception being Airbnb - but the significant influence of film and television on travel to the West - opportunities that spare you the burden and cost of localization and translation. Actionable items:
- Destinations: Support your state/region/city film board.
- Businesses: Actively pursue "product placement" in films and videos - online and offline.
Regarding Airbnb - note that:
- Chinese law re privacy and information disclosure have forced Airbnb to create a dedicated Chinese subsidiary and to store all Chinese data in China.
- All Airbnb data associated with properties in China are by law shared with the Chinese government, including:
- Host data: names, addresses, pricing, revenues, etc.
- Guest data: identities of guests - citizens or foreigners - must be reported to the government within 24 hours of arrival.
- Airbnb has invited any hosts who are unhappy with these conditions to deactivate their listings.
China is a tough market in which to compete, but with 84M outbound trips to destinations outside Greater China in 2018, it can't be ignored.