The term HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurant, Cafe) refers to the hotel and restaurant business and is one of the most common segments of business with the Chinese.
We are used to seeing Chinese tourists in large groups headed by a tour leader with a red flag. Such tourists are not independent and always depend on the group. These travelers do not have the highest paying capacity as the state gives money for them. But the situation began to change With the recent growth of economic development the Chinese have begun to travel more independently. They choose where to go, book tickets and plan routes, as well as look at places and restaurants they want to visit.
Chinese travelers have become the main engine of the global tourism industry – they are ready to spend money. But they also have their own preferences. Therefore, if you want to attract Chinese tourists to your restaurant, hotel or cafe, you need to clearly build a marketing strategy and set up infrastructure so that a potential client could plan a visit to you in advance while staying in China.
You need a multi-channel marketing strategy to successfully promote your hotel, restaurant or cafe. It is worth starting with the maximum presence in the Chinese Internet space. In order for Chinese tourists to learn about you, they should be able to find you. As there is no access to Western Internet sources, you will need to use local tools.
How can hotels, inns, restaurants and cafes attract Chinese tourists?
Social networks are a mandatory part of marketing not only in China, but also around the world. In China, social networks are especially important, as some of them, for example, WeChat, often replace the need for a website.
WeChat is the main channel for attracting Chinese people in the HoReCa industry. WeChat is not just a messenger, it is a whole super app that includes a social network, a payment service, and a search engine. Chinese travelers can get acquainted with the information, communicate with the support service, study your brand catalogs and make purchases without leaving the WeChat app. You can also configure and run targeted ads.
Weibo is a microblogging service, an equivalent of Twitter and Instagram. The functionality of the social network includes not only the ability to share short posts with subscribers, but also articles with illustrations, post stories, videos, photos, audio recordings, conduct surveys, including video broadcasts, promote publications, configure targeting parameters through the advertising office, collaborate with bloggers and much more. Weibo is perfect for your business if you have a lot of graphic content that you are ready to demonstrate it to your potential customers.
Douyin is the Chinese version of the popular TikTok short video service. Douyin is an application for creating and publishing short videos with filters, special effects and popular music. Ideal for targeting a young, educated and affluent audience. In HoReCa segment this will be especially important for hotels and restaurants of the middle and high price segment.
Before going on a trip, the Chinese study information on the Internet. The most common way is to search through Chinese forums similar to the Western Tripadvisor.
Ctrip is the largest online travel booking agency and an excellent tool for promoting your services, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. among Chinese travelers. It was created in 1999 and since then it has been constantly evolving to help Chinese tourists plan their trips. The company has more than 10 million places to visit on its platforms and more than 5,000 destinations for tourists to choose from.
Mafengwo is one of the most popular travel platforms that combines the functions of a travel booking service and a social network.
TuNiu – is one of the leading online private holiday companies in China. The platform provides a large selection of complex tours, including turnkey tours, as well as other travel services.
Forums on various topics:
Zhihu is an analog of answers.yahoo. In this service, bloggers and ordinary people can leave feedback and ask questions.
Baidu Zhidao, Baidu Tieba are popular question-answer services and discussion forums from the Chinese search engine Baidu.
Search and retrieval services:
An analogue of Google Maps unavailable in China. To make it easier for a Chinese tourist to navigate and find your business, you need to have a card in Chinese maps.
The most popular restaurant, hotel and cafe review service. Using this service, users can also book tables and rooms, but the main purpose of the application is to share impressions about the place and put ratings. Dianping has over 260 million monthly active users. More than 100 million user-generated reviews.
The website of your restaurant, cafe or hotel also needs to be localized and adapted to Chinese users. And for your site to perform well in China, it needs to be linked to a Chinese hosting provider. If you don't have an ICP license, we recommend using Hong Kong or Singapore hosting.
A mandatory step in adapting your business to the Horek segment is the connection of acquiring. Western payment systems Visa and Mastercard do not work in China, which may cause difficulties with payment. You need to connect WeChat Pay or Alipay.
Your offline point should become China friendly. Do not forget to use QR codes with a link to your WeChat account and for payments. The menu must be translated into Chinese and duplicated into your WeChat account.
Comprehensive marketing strategy
Selection of channels for attracting Chinese tourists
Dedicated Project Manager