The outbreak of Covid-19 has greatly changed Chinese travellers’ mentality. After the pandemic, some factors will affect how Chinese travellers choose their holiday destination in a more significant way. Those used to be popular might be less attractive.
Destination Safety – Crowded popular attractions might not be attractive
Before the pandemic, ‘internet-famous’ attractions are very attractive and overcrowded during holidays. Labeling a destination with ‘internet-famous’ used to be like an always-work strategy to market a destination to Chinese travellers.
However, after the outbreak of Covide-19, people started to avoid overly popular destination and attractions. Places can accommodate social distancing or covid-safety became more popular. As the suburb excursions and self-drive travels are thriving, some less-known destinations started to welcome more visitors.
Geopolitics – Countries and regions joint hands with China in covid-19 combat might become more popular
It is predicted that by 2029, Chinese people will make 286 million outbound trips a year. The sheer size of Chinese outbound travel market is huge. Though international travels are on pause at this moment, most countries will not give up on the China market. But, international relations are significantly affecting how Chinese people choose travel destinations.
Countries that have been supportive during Covid-19 outbreak in China or will actively release transportation and visa policies for Chinese travelers will no doubt become preferred destinations. Serbia is a good example, as the country has been very supportive and friendly to China in the most challenging time. During the pandemic outbreak in China, the official Weibo account of National Tourism Organisation of Serbia embraced a rapid growth of new followers. And in March, searches for the keyword ‘Serbia’ on leading Chinese travel APP Mafengwo was increased by 480% over the previous month.
Live Streaming – A new communication form for destination marketing
Live streaming is taking the lead in destination marketing after pandemic outbreak.
In March, Ctrip launched their ‘Tourism Renaissance Plan V’. James Liang, Ctrip Chairman, has led a team to travel across China to do live streams for multiple tourism destinations in China. The key objectives for those live streams are to achieve conversion of hotel room pre-sales and exposures for the destinations.
Among all those live streams, the one in Huzhou (Zhejiang Province) is one of the most popular. According to Ctrip’s data, in 3 months after the live stream, the number of Ctrip users visited Huzhou witnessed an increase of nearly 120%. And the total tourism revenue was also increased by nearly 190%. The total exposures achieved online and offline surpassed 220 million. Huzhou became a hot topic in mainstream media like CCTV and a preferred post-pandemic destination for travelers from East China.
Live streaming shortened the distance between destinations and travelers by providing real-time interactions and visualized experiences. It’s no doubt that tourism recovery will see an increasing demand of marketing via live streaming.