From the years of 2010 to 2015, the thriving hotel industry of China has been growing at a rate of around 9% per annum. The Chines hospitality market has been growing at a steady pace, and continues to develop and improve. A recent study stated that in 2013 there were an estimated 2.5 million hotel rooms dotted around China. In comparison to other, more mature markets in the USA or Europe, China has a relatively low hotel penetration, with around 4 rooms per 1,000 people.
By 2023, these figures are expected to reach 6.3 million rooms, with 8 rooms allocated per 1000 people. The hotel industry benefits significantly from foreign tourism, Chinese residents travelling to other cities and the 2010 Shanghai Expo. As for luxury hotels, they can be found in larger and mid-sized Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shenzen or Shanghai. Also, 6 out of 10 luxury hotels are geared towards those who prefer the finer things in life.
With more than 660 million internet users in the whole of China, having a decent online presence in order to attract potential guests is an absolute must. The easiest and most effective way in which to build an online presence is to have a well-thought out and structured website. However, you cannot just settle for a standard, run-of-the-mill page, as it should present particular elements which appeals to the typical Chinese high-end customer.
If a website has classy, stylish design and is pleasing to the eye then this is considered highly desirable. China ranks 47th out of 100 in the EF English Proficiency index, therefore it is important to be able to translate any site into Chinese for ease of reading. High-quality videos and pictures emphasise brand storytelling, and if you choose to write relevant, concise content about your services, including useful information and top tips for the Chinese visitor this will be a huge plus point.
A built-in online booking form is recommended in order to enable the Chinese visitor to directly book on your website. Testimonials and feedback from satisfied customers is also a fantastic way in which to get people talking, as China’s word-of-mouth is getting stronger by the day, so it is wise to dispel any fears straightaway.
You may also consider making your website responsive, as this is an extremely effective marketing tool. In actual fact, 88.9% of Chinese citizens use their mobile phone in order to successfully navigate the internet. So adapting your website in order to suit your device’s specifications and requirements will help in improving the online customer experience as a whole.
Along with a high quality, dedicate webpage you should also implement a solid SEO strategy which is tailored to meet all requirements. Successful SEO optimisation is essential to any business, and can really make a difference. If you manage to get to grips with complicated marketing techniques then this will ensure you remain one step ahead of your competitors and shows that you are always thinking ahead.
Presenting attractive and captivating visuals such as pictures and videos will ensure that your brand has a dominant theme, and really causes a stir. It is the perfect way in which to promote a hotel and makes sure that it represents luxury, comfort and opulence. And, if you take into consideration that more than 91% of people booked a room at a luxury brand online (around 32% was through a tablet or mobile phone), then it is important that you make sure you are completely different from your nearest rivals.
Chinese customers primarily use online travel agencies and official hotel websites. The OTA market is getting larger and larger every day, and shows no sign of slowing down. As demand increases, competition becomes even tougher, and many guesthouses can struggle in the quieter months especially.
The Chinese perceive image to be an extremely important factor when it comes to finding the perfect hotel which best befits their bespoke needs. And reputation is everything. If you want to make a name for yourself then you need to foster a positive reputation and avoid the risk of negative feedback and poor reviews online.
If you want to secure a reservation through a hotel booking engine
then you need to make sure that it is easy to navigate, available in a multitude of languages and allows for quick access. The last thing that you want is a site which takes ages to load as slow service drives customers away and they may even start looking for viable alternatives which are not as time-consuming.
It is clear to see that keen Chinese travellers are extremely tech-savvy, and always have their finger on the pulse. Factor into the equation that they are also the world’s most populated country and you cannot deny the importance of trying to tap into this particular market. If you want to cater to this extremely powerful group, then you have to do something different and set yourself apart from other similar guesthouses.
Chinese tourists are much younger and more independent nowadays, and they know exactly what they want. The potential to generate consumer interest amongst this niche audience is huge, but it is always a good idea to do some research beforehand. You have to think about what it is they want, and how you can manage to get them to book a room directly with you rather than someone else.
There are a number of simple touches and tweaks you can make in order to appeal to the younger generation. In terms of cultural expectations, providing certain must-have amenities such as tea and coffee making facilities, dressing gowns and slippers and a range of toiletries will better serve Chinese guests and enhance their overall experience. If you avoid room numbers with a number ‘4’ in them (an old Chinese superstition) then this will also make people more inclined to book a suite.
Technology-wise, the little things make all the difference. If a hotel chooses to offer converters, adaptors and a variety of chargers then this will be highly appreciated by those who consider technology to have a major impact on their day-to-day life. On a larger scale, providing complimentary Wi-Fi is an absolute must, as over 75% of guests immediately ask if there is Wi-Fi access as soon as they get to reception. A good internet connection is something which hotels have to invest in as this will guarantee repeat custom.
You do not need to make any major alterations to the way in which you run your business, as it does not take a great deal of effort in order to see turnover increase and make sure that every individual thoroughly enjoys their stay. All you really have to do is think about what it is the customer is looking for, and then tailor your services around these particular preferences.
As far as hotel marketing solutions
are concerned, it is important to keep up to date with ever-changing modes and trends. Outdated technology should always be replaced by more modern equipment, and you have to make sure that your SEO strategies are up to scratch, as this will prove to be extremely lucrative in the long run.