According to a new report, Chinese travelers are hugely reliant on social media both during and after their journey, and some of their habits are dramatically different from travelers hailing from other parts of Asia.
Hospitality company Accor Hotels recently released its Asia Pacific Social Media Monitor, a survey of the social media and other travel habits of tourists from across the Asia-Pacific region. The survey queried more than 5,400 travelers across 11 countries on what they’re up to on social media, and the results on China’s travelers are extremely useful for brands hoping to market to the world’s largest bloc of travelers. Here are the main takeaways:
An overwhelming majority uses social media mid-trip
If you thought that social media isn’t vitally important for courting the Chinese travel market, think again: a full 91 percent of Chinese respondents said that they interacted with social media in some way on their travels, compared to only 32 percent of New Zealanders and 25 percent of Australians.
They’re WeChatting and microblogging, but not Instagramming
What social media networks are Chinese travelers using? Unsurprisingly, WeChat and Sina Weibo were the top choices, but Facebook was also used by a solid 15 percent of respondents. According to the results, Chinese travelers went on Facebook “almost as often as local site RenRen,” despite the fact that the former is banned in China. However, although Instagram isn’t banned in China, it was only used by 12 percent of overall respondents.
They‘re loyal to brands with good promotions
One piece of good news for companies targeting Chinese social travelers is that they are the most “fervent fans and the most likely to follow several brands,” taking an interest in hotels, airlines, and other travel-related brands. However, they won’t necessarily do this for nothing—the study found that the “key motivation to follow hotel brands online is to get discounts and special offers.
They’re showing off where they’re staying
When it comes to what they’re actually doing on social media, half of all respondents posted status updates when they traveled, and 36 percent posted photos of their hotel room. “Across the board uploading pictures is the number one activity when back home,” it also found.
They’re traveling for business, not leisure
The survey also revealed some interesting facts about non-social media usage: Chinese respondents were the least likely to be traveling for leisure purposes.
They want a culinary adventure
According to the results, Chinese travelers are the most focused on food out of any group of respondents—59 percent said that food discoveries are a “key consideration for them when choosing a hotel.” However, as far as we can tell from the previous statistics, it’s unlikely many of them will be Instagramming those food photos.