BANGKOK, Thailand – The 6th PATAcademy-HCD, under the theme ‘100+ million Chinese Outbound Travelers – Learn how to increase your market share’, successfully ended on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The three-day interactive program took place from June 13-15 at the PATA Engagement Hub in PATA Headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand.
The program attracted 18 rising stars from 13 public and private organisations coming from seven destinations. They represent Albatross World Travel & Tours Pte Ltd., Singapore; ASEAN Secretariat, Indonesia; Dusit Thani College, Thailand; FLEXIROAM SON BHD, Malaysia; HAPPY TRAILS INDONESIA, Indonesia; Macao Government Tourism Office, Macao SAR; Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia, Indonesia; Palau Visitors Authority, Palau; Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore; Srilankan Airlines Ltd., China; Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia; Travellanda Ltd.; Thailand, and VIE Hotel Bangkok – a member of the MGallery Collection, Thailand.
Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA said, “According to our latest visitor forecasts, arrivals from China to Asia Pacific destinations will climb from an estimated 102 million in 2015 to more than 150 million by 2020, dominating the region’s international tourism landscape. Our delegates had the opportunity to gain further insights and best practices on how to increase their market share into this highly lucrative segment.”
John Koldowski, Head of the Service Innovation & Development Unit, College of Innovation, Thammasat University, Thailand, examined the hard facts behind the China outbound phenomenon and how it will evolve. He stated that, “most Chinese like big city stuff – that’s how it starts – but that’s beginning to evolve. There is a growing class in China who are looking for other experiences. The Japanese went through the same process. They have now evolved into mature travellers.”
David Tang, Vice President, Ivy Alliance Tourism Consulting, China, discussed several aspects of the transforming Chinese outbound tourism market and its future potential, as well as how to grow business with key partners in China and meet the changing demands of Chinese travellers. During his presentation he noted that, “the first step is to build good communication. Part of it is language skills, but most of it is understanding the business model behind the travel industry. Most of them do business through WeChat and QQ.”
Maggie Wu shared her thoughts on ‘Inspiring the Chinese Traveller through Stories of Adventure, Inspiration and Insights’. As one of China’s few bi-lingual travel blogs she noted that in today’s landscape, “traditional marketing is to focus on mass travellers, if you want to focus on a specific target market and create a stronger message, going online to seek for KOLs (Key Opinion Leader) is the best way.”
Jason Lin, Founder/Chief Talent, Talent Basket, USA, led an interactive session on ‘How to invite Chinese travellers into an unforgettable journey’. Some of the key elements in getting from point A to point B for Chinese Traveller marketing included the importance of cultural exchange before travel, the need to provide incentives, understanding the market through big data, asking the right questions and being specific, and how profiling is key when defining your target market.
Julia (Ting Ting) Gong, Chief Executive, CHINA READY Group discussed the need to understand the ‘modern’ and ‘diverse’ nature of China and its peoples, and helped the participants understand how Chinese people think and act. During her presentation she also provided insights into what is driving the high-end Chinese traveller to a destination, and how to capitalise on it.
Yan Haifeng, Co-Founder and COO, Tuniu.com provided a brief glimpse into ‘The Door to a Hundred Billion Dollars Business’. He noted that by establishing their company motto of ” Making travel simple”, it allowed them to dominate 65% of China’s impressions.
Mark Wang, Vice President and General Manager, Beijing Oriental Century Travel Service – China Voyage, China, and board member of the PATA China Chapter, provided delegates with must-know tips for international brands to ‘wow’ your Chinese clients, highlighting that it was vital to “Identify the differences between European and Chinese Travellers to attract this market”.
In addition to the presentations at the PATA Engagement Hub, Local Alike took participants to a half day tour of Talat Noi, one of the oldest Chinese communities in a lesser known part of Chinatown in Bangkok. Participants were given the opportunity to discover the authentic experience of the local Chinese community and took part in a traditional Chinese food workshop.