Italy has always been a tourist destination that attracts travelers from all over the world. In recent years Italy has witnessed the Asian boom with an explosive increase in the number of tourists, especially Chinese.
In 2018 over 5 million Chinese tourists visited Italy and it is estimated that this number will exceed 6 million this year. According to a report by Il Sole 24 ore, every Chinese tourist in Italy spent an average of 1,167 euros on the purchase of products.
Thanks to the growth of the bourgeois class in China, mass tourism is evolving into more sophisticated tourism, made up of exclusive tours and first-class experience. More and more Chinese tourists are abandoning the organized and group tour to choose private itineraries or for small numbers of people.
Imagine now taking a trip to China, a country unknown to many. If you wanted to get away from the tourist routes of Beijing and Shanghai, you would definitely need a guide, in fact almost nobody outside the big cities speaks English. In addition, you would choose to go to some place where you could read information in your language, book an overnight stay without going mad and where it might not be too complicated to move around. In the end, you would need to bring lots of cash with you, because your card certainly has limits abroad and above all it doesn’t work in most Chinese payment circuits.
What if there is an app that can advise you where to go, how to go there, and even allows you to pay in your currency?
This APP exists and is available to Chinese tourists, we talk about WeChat.
WeChat allows you not only to be known and recognizable to the eyes of future Chinese tourists, but above all it allows them to reach you and contact you easily.
Why WeChat? Why not just increase your marketing budget and set sales targets for China?
The answer lies in Chinese society. 98% of all consumers in China own a smartphone (over 1.3 billion users) and 90% of Chinese consumers use WeChat. Their dependence on mobile phones far exceeds that of other countries.
WeChat has reached 1 billion active users, of which 6.7 million are registered outside China. Unlike what happens in the West, these users are not spreading over multiple social media networks.
For many Chinese, the choice is WeChat or nothing. Either you are there, or they don’t know about your existence.
WeChat is not a social media but a service app, it has evolved into what many people call a super-app, which allows you to activate different functions.
For companies that want to reach Chinese luxury consumers directly, WeChat is without doubt one of the most effective tools to do so.
The sectors for which WeChat can support direct communication with travelers are:
Let’s see how you can attract visitors through WeChat:
1. Overcome the language issue.
WeChat allows you to have a platform designed for Chinese consumers and to communicate in their language, making you Chinese user friendly. You can activate an excellent customer care service and communicate directly with your end customers.
2. Provide instructions to reach you.
Nothing is more frustrating than being in a foreign country and not knowing how to get to destination. Thanks to WeChat you can let tourists know how to reach you, or possibly book private vehicles through you.
3. Allow your customers to pay in their own currency.
China is now a cashless country; all transactions are made via smart payment. WeChat Pay is an active payment service in Italy, allows tourists to pay in their own currency and you to receive the money directly in your euro account. This system simplifies not only the payments related to hospitality but above all those of shopping, increasing the direct sales of your products.
4. Keep your customers informed about events and promotions.
Thanks to the official accounts your customers or potential travelers will always be informed about the events and promotions active at your facilities. You can also write to loyal customers, invite them to return in exchange for a special treatment or a promotion. WeChat is built to provide tailor-made services to consumers.
5. Promote word of mouth.
Thanks to the existence of communities dedicated to tourism, it is much easier to share content with users interested in a certain type of travel and to contact you. There are also a large number of influencers or KOLs that can help you promote your facility.
6. Attract Chinese tourists around you.
Thanks to the “Shake” function of WeChat allow you to locate the people around you and using an active account. This function is a powerful tool to attract new customers through promotions or flyers that you can send to Chinese tourists in your geographical area.
7. Allow your customers to find you.
The Location Based Service (LBS) function allows customers to find all the details of their businesses with a single click, regardless of where they are in the world. All they have to do is share their current location, so that a list of the nearest stores will be displayed. Basically, it is similar to the “find” feature of Google Maps.
8. Promote your business in China.
WeChat Advertising allows you to target the people to whom a specific advertising campaign is aimed. This type of promotion is similar to what you can do on Facebook, selecting the geographical area, gender, age, interests of potential travelers, you will be able to promote your structure among thousands of users.
9. Show what experience you can provide to your customers.
Videos are one of the best ways to show any tour. Wine tasting? Record your customers while they taste the wines and enjoy discovering their secrets. City tour? Perform an accelerated version of the route to give them a taste of what awaits them. Gastronomic tours? Show how much fun your customers have and the happy looks on their faces as they take the first bite.
It is also possible for the same participants to share live videos of their experience, promoting your activity.
The use that can be made of WeChat is not only aimed at large cities or tour operators, on the contrary, its nature leads to direct communication with travelers, and therefore to the selection of those tourists who want to escape from mass tourism to enjoy experiences designed for them. It is this characteristic that makes WeChat a very valid communication tool for all companies that want to promote incoming to Chinese tourists.