As the world’s fastest growing economy more and more Chinese visitors are heading to the UK, for both business and pleasure. Chinese travellers have more money to spend and look set to transform the global travel industry. So how to prepare and ensure they enjoy a great visit.
China is booming; economically, culturally and in terms of population: It is on the fast track to becoming a world superpower. This exponential growth means there are more Chinese visitors heading to the west, both on business and for leisure travel. China’s outbound travel market is one of the fastest growing in the world, with predictions taking the number of Chinese international travellers from 2000 to 2020 from 10 million to over 100million. That shift means there is real opportunity for the global travel industry to ensure this new generation of travellers has a great stay but also spends money.
Chinese travellers tend to be younger and savvier; they find out about travel and providers online so agencies need to ensure their information is up to date and it’s localised to make the most of this emerging market. It’s also vital they learn about their audience to understand what they are looking for and how to cater for them effectively.
1. Numbers are important to Chinese travellers.
In Chinese culture there is a big emphasis on numbers. The number 4, for example, is associated with death and has negative connotations so perhaps they wouldn’t want this for a serviced apartment number! The number 8, however, is focused on good fortune and positivity. When decorating a serviced apartment for Chinese visitors think of bamboo, Chinese plum, orchid and chrysanthemum. These materials have a strong cultural association with Chinese visitors.
2. Great customer service and being able to get online are important to Chinese travellers.
Customer service should be a focus for every travel provider, but good service means different things in different culture. Chinese travellers are often looking for an efficient and attentive service; they want to know their accommodation provider is both friendly and will be attentive to their needs. At Clarendon we have a dedicated customer service team that works to understand the needs of each of our guests to ensure they are fulfilled. In terms of technology we offer WIFI to ensure travellers have access to the fastest internet.
3. Food and drink
Many Chinese travellers have not spent much time exploring different cuisines and delicacies from abroad so they might be inclined to cook and service more traditional Chinese meals and food, which is easier if they are staying at a serviced apartment with a fully fitted kitchen. Knowing the Asian communities and supermarkets nearby makes it simpler to buy the right ingredients. Stocking the kitchen with chopsticks and bottled water before Chinese visitors arrive is a nice touch. Providing links and guides to different places to eat and drink and sample the wide variety of cuisine on offer in the capital provides a good basis from which to explore.
4. Building a long term relationship
Chinese travellers value long term relationship with their travel providers. It’s based on trust. Obligation is another important feature of Chinese business relationships so it is important in both business dealings and within friendships that proffered the support and help that’s needed, with the understanding of reciprocal obligations, is vital. This focus on the long-term can sometimes be difficult in practice for westerners to understand; it means short term deals might fall away and there is little focus on immediate gain.
At Clarendon Serviced Apartments, we are a strong believer in formulating long term relationships with our customers and giving them the extra support they need to ensure their stay is enjoyable. We have a range of extended stay apartments across London in the City, Canary Wharf, The City, West End and South-West London, so there is sure to be something that meets their needs.