Attracting Chinese Tourists to your Vacation Rentals

We will let you in on the how, but firstly here’s the why; according to TUIโ€™s research, Europe currently takes first place on the Chinese traveler’s list of preferred destinations and the US claims a strong 2nd place. The World Health Organisation anticipates that in 2020, a whole quarter of all travelers visiting Europe from Asia will come from China. At the same time, Airbnb says guests from China grew by 500% in 2016. And what kind of Chinese traveller uses Airbnb? “The average Chinese tourist is 30 years old and is using Airbnb to have a truly authentic, local experience”. Ready to give them that experience? Read our tips for attracting Chinese Tourists to your vacation rentals!

Aim for Chinese Millennials

The amount of the stereotypical Asian tourists (moving in large groups, inseparable from their camera’s, moving around with the tourist bus) is declining as the internet savvy, social media active millennials and members of younger generations are traveling more – just as Airbnb confirmed! Their desire is for more urban and individual travel with a small group of friends or family. Chinese tourists want to explore independently, away from the group, and blend into the foreign city they are visiting, and create individual experiences. Some time ago, we wrote an article on how to attract Millennials to your vacation rentals, and these tips apply for Millennials around the world!

Must-have Amenities & Features for Attracting Chinese tourists

Vacation Rental Amenities for Chinese tourists

* In the kitchen

Provide your guests with typical Chinese kitchen equipment: the very least are a tea kettle (they drink more tea than the Brits!) & chopsticks, and if you invest in a a rice cooker they’ll be over the moon! Want to go the extra mile? Leave a variety of instant cup noodles in the cupboard and a bottle of soya milk in the fridge!

* In the bathroom

Two things that all hotels in China provide are disposable toothbrush and toothpaste. Disposable slippers part of your set-up? Removing your shoes before entering is a tradition in the Chinese culture, and they will most likely stand by this rule wherever they go, so nice disposable house slippers are bound to delight!

CHINESE ETIQUETTE: HOW TO BEHAVE

When welcoming your guests, the host is expected to shake hands first, to show his welcome. On the other hand, when the guest is leaving, the guest should offer his/her hand first. Keep in mind, that itโ€™s rude & unconventional to shake hands when:

  • Using a hat, sun-glasses or gloves
  • Greeting someone with your left hand
  • While having your other hand in your pocket
  • Or refuse to shake hands

Find more about Chinese etiquette on Travel China Guide!

GETTING OVER LANGUAGE BARRIERS

Translate App for Chinese Tourists

A must have for your check-in person is a voice translator such as iTranslate Voice which allows you to speak and translate in real-time. It’s only โ‚ฌ0,99 for the iPhone or Ipad app and well-worth the investment.

CHINESE SYMBOLISM: NUMBERS & COLOURS TO AVOID

Chinese people have lucky, and unlucky numbers. Number 8 is considered lucky, as it sounds like the Chinese word for prosperity. Number 4 is considered a very unlucky number, as it sounds like the Chinese word for death. So let’s try our best to highlight number 8, and avoid number 4 in … well anything related to your vacation rental ๐Ÿ˜€

Red is considered the luckiest color. It’s associated with good luck, celebration, vitality, life and joy (all that red decor making sense now, right?). In contrast, white is often associated with death and used when mourning. We’re not advocating painting all your walls in red ๐Ÿ™‚ but a few red pillows, candles or red vases will be very visually appealing for your Asian guests.

Always leaving a bunch of fresh flowers on arrival? Make sure the color of the flowers coordinates with the container, so it gives an appearance of the plant naturally spilling out of the container. Chinese people believe that flowers are a plant of life force. Ps. Perhaps, avoid white flowers… ๐Ÿ˜‰

AVOIDING CONFRONTATION

Chinese travelers are sometimes perceived as rude by Westerners. This can be caused by their expectation that money equals good service. They expect the service to run fast without delay, and if this does not happen, they feel personally insulted. Give your Chinese guests extra attention and apologize for even the smallest delay or inconvenience (just in case, you know!).


Now you’re a pro at delighting Chinese tourists, let’s look at how to market your vacation rental to Chinese travellers. Find out which websites to advertise on and why and when they travel. ⤵

WHICH WEBSITES TO ADVERTISE ON FOR ATTRACTING CHINESE TOURISTS

Ctrip
Ctrip is China’s largest online travel agency with an 80% market share (WOW!). It provides transportation tickets, reservations for accommodation, and corporate travel management. Ctrip’s headquarters are based in Beijing (Geography lesson; Capital of China!), and Rentals United has worked with Ctrip since 2016. To be eligible for Ctrip, you have to have at least 5 properties, and you need to work with Expedia, Agoda or Booking.com because Ctrip will need the Chinese translation from either of these sites. (Note: Advertise automatically on all these listing sites with Rentals United!).

Agoda to attract Chinese Tourists
Agoda
Agoda is a travel meta-search engine and a travel fare aggregator, with a large focus on the Asian market. Agoda offers affordable airfares and additionally a wide range of choice in booking from hotels, seaside resorts, bed & breakfast to home-stays. Rentals United has worked with Agoda since 2016, they have 18 million customers worldwide in 28 countries, and itยดs part of The Priceline Group with Booking.com, Kayak and many more! Still need convincing? ๐Ÿ˜‰

AirBnb
I probably won’t need (and shouldn’t have to) to introduce this vacation rental website (which could be compared to the Madonna/Michael Jackson of the VR industry), so let’s just cut to the chase. AirBnb has an incredibly large network in the Asian market. An incredible 500% growth was detected in 2016 in the outbound travel of China, and AirBnb states that China is their fastest growing market. Most of the Chinese travelers come from cities, most from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

So, I think weโ€™ve made it clear, that if you want to target the Asian market, Ctrip, Agoda and AirBnb are the best channels to market your properties! ๐Ÿ˜‰

WHERE & WHEN CHINESE TOURISTS TRAVEL

WHERE
The Chinese love learning about new cultures. The same way their culture is fascinating and foreign for us, it’s completely the same for them. The most popular destinations are Europe and the US.

According to an Airbnb report, in the US the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists are:

  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • San Fransisco

& in Europe:

  • London
  • Paris
  • Rome

If you don’t have any property in these cities, do not worry, Chinese tourists get pretty much everywhere! Take into consideration that last year nearly 100 million Chinese traveled abroad, and it’s estimated that by the year 2020 this amount will double!

WHEN
China has a few annual holidays when major part of the country takes off and heads abroad!

* Chinese New Year & Spring Festival
Chinese New Year is commonly celebrated at the end of January. It’s also known as Spring Festival, and is considered the most important festival of the year. It can last up to 10 days beginning from the day before the Spring Festival starts. In the recent years, it has become a trend for the Chinese to skip the traditional customs, and instead use this holiday as an opportunity to explore a foreign country. In 2018 the Chinese New Year will be on the 16th of February, and the Spring Festival will start the day after and last until the 21st of February. Mark this in you booking calendar! ๐Ÿ˜‰

* The Golden week is celebrated in the first week of October (In 2017 it’s celebrated 2nd to 8th of October), and it’s a national holiday for the entire country, thus, many Chinese travelers head to Europe and US. This is a great opportunity for all Vacation rental professionals to make use of, as millions of Chinese head abroad during this time!

* Summer Holiday
The summer holidays is also a very popular time for the Chinese to travel. It’s the longest holiday of the year starting from beginning of July lasting till the end of August. It’s a very popular time of the year for students (remember the internet savvy independent generation!) to head to Europe and the US. The Chinese who are working do not have a national holiday in the summer holidays, but it is very common that they use their paid vacation weeks and head for travel during this time.


Do you have experiences with Chinese travelers? Comment below!!

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  • Richard @ Rentivo

    Excellent advice and a growing market. Don’t forget Chinese language on the websites to make life easier!

  • This was a very helpful article. I’m always telling my clients they need to do more to attract Chinese travelers. Thank you.

  • Ruth Webb

    We had 3 Chinese travellers stay at our Airbnb. So polite and friendly. Wanted large sharp knives. Thrilled when our children greeted them in Chinese!