The China outbound travel market is developing fast, factors driving this growth include rising income levels and standard of living and the opening up of travel visa restrictions for Chinese citizens. Since becoming a member of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) more and more countries have become accessible to mainland Chinese through the approved destination status (ADS) scheme for which New Zealand is also a part of.
With the future looking bright for their outbound travel market to continually grow it makes sense for New Zealand tourism organisations to develop strategies to target the China travel market to compliment efforts already in progress by the likes of Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and the Shanghai World Expo.
So what are the key ways to do this? It really depends on the resources and size of your organisation. At present over 71% of travellers from China come as part of a pre-arranged group tour (source: Tourism New Zealand) rather than as FIT so forming relationships with key inbound tour operators and group tours is a logical first step. The FIT market however is growing so an online strategy is also important, and The Economist has identified social media as another key way.
Here are some further links to articles of interest regarding the Chinese tourism market and China Online Travel
Nielsen China Outbound Travel Monitor 2009 (have to purchase the full report)
If you have any tips or success stories about dealing with the Chinese market let us know.