China Part 2: Students and Tourism

25
Nov
2014

China Part 2: Students and Tourism

China Part 2: Students and Tourism
Welcome to the second of our World Travel Market-inspired posts on China and its outbound tourism markets. We've covered FITs and WeChat, and now it's time to talk about students. When creating Chinese language content for use online and in social media, the focus is almost always on China itself, the land within the so-called 'Great Firewall'. But what about the thousands of Chinese young adults studying throughout Europe? Students aren't strictly tourists. Obviously. But they are an important tourist market in many ways: as a general rule, they tend to make a point of seeing as much as possible of Europe while they are studying here, to 'make the most' of their free time, so to speak. Many Chinese students will go on day trips to attractions and weekend trips to other parts of the country or other nearby countries (for example, hopping on the Eurostar to see France one weekend or getting a train to Edinburgh). This behaviour, of course, only increases during holidays (assuming that they don't go home to visit family). As well as this, despite having access to (and using) Western platforms such as Google, Facebook et al, they will still maintain their Chinese social media accounts and are still a primarily Chinese-language market. This is doubly significant when we consider their role in Chinese society: as people who have spent a good deal of time abroad, they are considered experts. Word of mouth is so crucial to Chinese people that they will become the unanticipated spokespeople for your brand as friends, relatives, and friends of friends come to them for advice on where to go and what to see. A natural result of having a large population of Chinese students of Europe is that inevitably their family and/or friends will come and visit them at some point (or several) during their course. During their time visiting, they will treat their student point of contact as an expert, as we've mentioned above, and are likely to participate in traditionally 'tourist' activities such as visiting attractions and going sightseeing, etc. When you have this in mind, it is clear that European-based Chinese students are a key market to consider when strategising your digital campaigns. And the best part is that they're already here! There's no need to entice them to get on a long haul flight to visit. So, what to consider when incorporating this crucial market into your online/social media output? The rules are much the same as for targeting the Chinese tourism market at large: tailor-make your content, and make sure it's impeccably translated. Go out of your way to interact with your target audiences, and encourage sharing of their experiences. Listen to what they have to say and learn from it. And most of all, get in touch with us at Rhubarb Fool! We really can help.
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