Challenged to spell out the most important items to make Chinese tourists outside of China happy, in five short points only Prof Arlt from COTRI gives the following advice:
1) Show respect towards the Chinese culture.
Even if many Chinese who are rich enough to travel do understand English, provide information in Chinese. Even if many Chinese prefer to eat toast, bacon and eggs while travelling in Western countries, provide Chinese breakfast items on the buffet.
2) Show Chinese visitors that you treat them better than anybody else.
To treat Chinese visitors equally well as all other customers is not enough. Most Chinese are aware of the fact that their country is the most populous and they are the biggest source market for international travel in the world, so they are likely to insist that service providers clearly indicate that they go the extra mile for Chinese customers. In a very nice resort on Mauritius I saw some months ago a sign, proclaiming that a red flag means “Do not enter the ocean” during storms. The text was given in English and French, the official languages of the island, and in Chinese. No other language was used. Many Chinese guests will be happy to see that for them the warning is spelled out in their own language, even though they would probably get the idea what the red flag may mean on a stormy day without any sign as well and the insurance company will only insist on warnings in the islands languages. The message is clear, never mind if the management intended it to be like this: We care for Chinese guests more than for others, let the German and the Japanese and the Russian speakers drown if they are stupid enough to enter the water during a storm.
3) Provide experiences intense and fast
Almost all Chinese travellers are “Money-rich, Time-poor”, they have to maximize the investment of time, effort and money while abroad. Shortening tours, trainings, and visits to the minimum, never letting them wait, providing in the end a document and/or a video
4) Provide accessibility
Visa-free or at least pre-boarding visa-free destinations enjoy fast growing arrivals numbers from China. Of course the cutting out of the red tape has to be accompanied by direct air connections. The 70 inhabitants of Pitcairn Islands may not require Chinese citizens to apply for a visa, but the distance to the airport-less islands, situated halfway between Peru and New Zealand, will nevertheless dampen the prospects of Chinese mass-tourists arriving.
5) Engender User Generated Content
Destination marketing organizations will obviously always talk about the positive sides of their destination only. To find out if the people over there are friendly to Chinese visitors and have interesting things to sell, only peer group information either face-to-face or virtual will provide a trustworthy source. Therefore a marketing campaign which seeds and encourages Chinese visitors recommending a destinations to their fellows based on actual experience and a Chinese point of view is the most powerful tool to tickle the appetite for less-known destinations and activities.