The interactive programme, under the theme ‘Chinese Outbound Tourism Market’, was led by Professor Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, Founder and Director – COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, China; Jason Lin, Chief of Talent – Talent Basket, Xiamen (China) and San Francisco (USA), and Julien Delerue, General Manager – 1000meetings, China.
The workshop enabled participants to understand the different market segments of the Chinese outbound market, including current and future trends, spending patterns and purchasing behaviours, enabling them to adapt their products and services as well as their marketing strategies to attract a bigger and more profitable portion of this market.
PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “When it comes to the business of travel and tourism, organisations across the world are focused on China, looking to capture a share of the enormous outbound travel segment. The aim of the workshop was to deliver a deeper understanding of the Chinese market and provide our participants the practical tools and skills to increase their share of this highly lucrative segment.”
Attending the workshop were 20 participants from 10 destinations, representing such organisations as Ikarus Tours GmbH, India Tourism Beijing, India Tourism United House, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation, Myanmar Tourism Federation, Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Sabah Tourism Board, Sampan Travel Stargazer Company Limited, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism Fiji, and VIE Hotel Bangkok.
On the first day of the workshop, Dr. Arlt focused on two main topics: product adaptation for different market segments and common requirements for Chinese travellers. He stated that the Chinese outbound tourism market is splitting into three types of travellers of equal importance: package tour groups (low price, low interest, concentrating on main sights); customised group tours (high price, special interest, flexible in time and area), and FITs (middle to high price, younger, searching for themselves). Dr. Arlt added that for each type of traveller segment, products and services must be adapted accordingly to their different needs in cooperation with the various stakeholders in the destination.
On the second day of the programme, Mr Lin led an interactive workshop on ‘New Media Landscape and Digital Business Strategy for Chinese Outbound Market’, focusing on the latest social media, social commerce, and online travel trends in China and how to design an effective outbound tourism promotion strategy that covers the entire consumer path to purchase.
“It was an honour to be invited by PATA to lead the HCD China Outbound Tourism workshop this time. I have learned a lot from all the participants during our dialogs. The networking was also valuable to understand the China outbound tourism challenges and strategies from different destinations,” said Mr. Lin.
Mr Delerue’s session on the second day concentrated on the Chinese Outbound MICE Market and focused on four key concepts: marketing and establishing a strong brand recognition for Chinese customers, timely responses to requests and inquires, rate parity and ensuring rates are the same across all sales channels, and content localisation and providing bilingual proposals and documentation to the end user.
To close out the programme, all participants were invited to visit Mahanakhon Skywalk, located on top of the King Power Mahanakhon Building in Bangkok. The Mahanakhon SkyWalk combines unique views with an unmatched guest experience, including one of the world’s largest glass trays on the 78th floor, Southeast Asia’s fastest elevators and unrivalled 360 degree views of Bangkok’s breathtaking skyline.
PATAcademy-HCD is a two-day workshop incorporating a series of intensive classroom interactions by leading travel industry practitioners with practical activities, group assignments, and networking events. The next workshop will be held on November 25-26, 20179 at the PATA Engagement Hub in Bangkok, Thailand.