5 Chinese Localization Tips for Travel, Hospitality, and Tourism


If you’re in travel, hospitality, and tourism sectors, selling the experience work best. Here are five useful Chinese localization tips you can do.

Chinese travelers are tech-savvy and always connected. But here’s the catch.

Distractions are everywhere as well. From promotional deals to reservations and social media, they consume much content, too.

If you’re in travel, hospitality, and tourism sectors, selling the experience work best. So, you have to diversify your channels and strategies, including research. The lack of understanding of your target audience can result in ordeals. It’s even difficult to create a plan across channels and languages.

READ MORE >>> How to Attract Chinese Tourists Even if You’re not in Mainland

Watch out for outbound tourism

As outbound tourism increases, you have to find ways on how to establish your company. It would be best if you are consistent as you cater their traveling needs. The number of domestic trips in China would increase to about 2.38 billion trips by 2020. Imagine the figures for outbound trips. Travelers spending has reached approximately 292 billion U.S. dollars.

The living standards and consumption levels are improving. Moreover, the traveler’s desires to explore other places are stronger. In return, such improvement creates tremendous opportunities for overseas companies. Even if you’re not in China, travelers come to your place. So, what are you going to do about it?

Improving your translation and localization strategies will help you amplify your services. You can do your marketing or work with local Chinese counterparts. Here are helpful tips for you.

1 Build your online presence where they are present (e.g., WeChat and Weibo)

WeChat remains the most ubiquitous mobile app among Chinese travelers. What could be more helpful is to do your research on how you can capitalize on this platform’s features. You can integrate on your company’s existing channels.

If you have a property or vacation home rental, you may want to work with Chinese travel influencers. They have huge followers and can write about their experience in your place. You can work with local suppliers to promote your service and offer commissions, too.

For organizations with huge funds, we can take a look at how Tourism New Zealand did it. The country’s marketing team partnered with Tencent. They ran targeted ads on WeChat to attract outbound travelers and set a new benchmark with an almost 10% CTR in the process. The partnership is crucial because they are targeting billions of users in that app.

2 Register your services to Chinese platforms and OTAS (and use punchy copywriting)

Popular websites like Google, Facebook, and Instagram are not available in China. If you want to gain more exposure, try other Chinese platforms to sell your services. You can register to Ctrip as your online travel agent for bookings. You may also publish your services with a Chinese landing page.

Use Weibo since this microblogging site is popular among netizens as well. They get information and reviews about a particular place or from their peers. Tujia is like the Airbnb of China if you’re running a rental vacation. But what’s important is you also use punchy copywriting in Chinese.

Depending on your target audience, you need to be careful and smart in your content. Clarity and relevance make sense when you write about your services.

3 Localize payment options (accept WeChatPay, Alipay, etc.)

According to Neilsen, 65% of Chinese tourists use mobile payments during overseas travel. Avoid causing ordeals when it comes to payments. WeChatPay, for example, is one of the popular payment methods among travelers.

It will be a delight for them if your store or even e-commerce site support such seamless payment method. In China, most of the transactions are via a mobile wallet, which WeChat app supports.

Tencent is open for partnerships for overseas companies and retail stores. You can offer easy payments via QR code scans and solutions.

Line, the messaging app in Japan supports and accept WeChatPay. Tencent is also expanding to North America and even to European countries. WeChat is available in Italy where travelers can pay on retailers that support QR code scans.

4 Use the power of videos

You’ll never know the power of your story in a video until you share it. In this industry, videos and storytelling help you sell the experience. And one of the ways to be effective in this area is to invest in Chinese promotional videos.

To generate more exposure, you can tap video marketing. There are more than 432 million online video users in China with 66.7% penetration rate. And their consumption is either for leisure or entertainment.

You may want to advertise on Douyin. It’s a short video sharing platform where you can create and share snippets to followers. If you have a big budget, you can maximize your English videos and produce voice-overs. The secret is to speak to the hearts of the travelers using the language they understand.

5 Emerging technologies like VR (virtual reality) elevates your marketing

Content, photos, and videos are nice. But they should not limit you of the opportunities that emerging technologies offer. For Hawaii, it’s Virtual Reality that will make the traveler’s desire become a reality. The country leverages on the technology and social media campaigns on WeChat.

Hawaii showcased its island using VR and also promote it as a luxury destination. On a separate campaign, they also use key influencers to sell it as a destination wedding. The Tourism Board partnered with Taiwanese celebrities Ady An Yixuan and Chen Ronglian.

The result? A showcase of their luxurious wedding ceremony in Oahu in June 2017, Jing Daily wrote.

VR is useful in other sectors such as e-learning and education. However, when it comes to digital marketing, you offer a value-added “experience” even if they’re not yet in your place. Keep in mind that such localization strategy requires a considerable investment, too. But in the end, it’s also worth it.

Do you find this thought-leadership piece article helpful? Do you need help in localization strategies in any of these industries? Feel free to contact us or grab this Chinese New Year promo to get you started on your goals this year.

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