Roy Graff

Hospitality and travel expert Roy Graff looks in China Contact back at ten years of giant growth since he got involved with tourism in China. “Suddenly China became the only growth source market seemingly unaffected by the global woes.”

Roy Graff:

Fast forward to 2009, the global economic crisis and drying up of many traditional tourist markets. Suddenly China became the only growth source market seemingly unaffected by the global woes. By 2011, it became obvious to most destinations that Chinese spend, and spend big. They may not fit the same profile of affluent travellers from other countries, with many choosing cheaper hotels and low cost meals to have more cash to spend on retail goods for example. But the number of repeat visitors and intrepid travellers has risen and with it the demand for diverse products and destinations. Not only Western Europe and USA are paying attention – so do countries in Africa and South America that are participating in Chinese travel trade shows and starting to prepare their industry to adapt to the Chinese visitors.

What makes the story much more exciting now, is the ability to connect with both customers and travel agents through the internet. Online adoption and usage in China is massive, with now more than 600 million internet users, most of them also using social media. Online inspiration and research is cited as a top determinant in travel choice in repeated surveys. The cost of marketing online is very affordable and makes a lot of sense in such a geographically expansive country. It is important to realise that it is not sufficient to simply translate your existing digital marketing and social media campaigns. The cost and time it takes now to launch a campaign in China puts it within the reach of most companies and regional/city tourist boards that want to stand out of the crowd and connect with their target demographic in China.

More in China Contact.

Roy Graff is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

On Thursday November 8 the China Weekly Hangout (10pm Beijing Time, 3pm CET, 10am EST) will focus on the future of nuclear power in China, what are the risks after Fukushima, and might a succesful NIMBY protest be possible? Here you can register at our events page. Or see the announcement here.

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