GODO Articulates

During Covid-19 Global travel came to a sudden halt and transformed the mindset of people. They started believing in living in the moment and creating beautiful memories. Now post-covid travelers from China are all geared to explore the world and travel once again. The big question is whether the travel industry is ready?

Are hotels and accommodations equipped to welcome large groups of tourists again? Do they have the right technology to manage groups from China and meet their needs?

What is there to think about? Let’s find out!

China outbound tourism returns

The borders, of the capital of China, Beijing, will reopen in January 2023. Passport applications will resume from January 8th for Chinese citizens. This will mark an end to almost three years of restricted borders. Since this announcement, travel sites such as Trip.com, showed a huge increase in searches for flight tickets and hotels. It is therefore clear that travelers from China are excited about traveling again, shopping and enjoying luxury. Some people are even hoping to be able to visit family and friends during Chinese New year which begins on January 22nd.

When it comes to international tourists from China i.e. China outbound tourism, hotel owners worldwide already know how significant they are looking at the large volume of Chinese travelers in the past and their consistency in exploring the world.

China´s border reopen in 2023

The Change in Chinese Travelers

Post-Covid Chinese travelers have changed, they prefer “me time” over making more money. They are focused more on health and wellness and thus prefer to stay in five-star resorts with spa facilities that are located far from the metropolitan cities. They are more interested in wellness trips and retreats that offer mental peace and physical rejuvenation.The fact that Iceland offers a great variety of amazing accommodations all around the country, far away from the city lights, should be used when marketing to the China market. Also, travelers from China are open to spend on trips to celebrate milestone birthdays or simply to make up for lost time during covid-19. 

The new wave of Chinese travelers would include business travelers, high-net-worth individuals, and students. They would be instigated by business, health, family, and education and would be eager to travel internationally. They have surfed the internet and collected information in the past three years, especially about off-beat places and want “better and more bespoken service.”, 

The Chinese travel market in Iceland

Borders of China reopening is big news for the Icelandic travel industry. According to Ferðamálastofa travelers from China were around 7% of all tourists in Iceland in the year 2019. Travelers from China tend to stay on average for 6-7 nights and since visits tend to spread rather evenly over the year they are also common visitors in the Icelandic low seasons. 

Like mentioned above, most travelers from China are ready to spend some money however that also means that they often expect excellent customer service. Chinese culture is one of the oldest in the world and Chinese travelers really do appreciate any effort you make to welcome them. It can be small things like adding chinese cuisines to the breakfast buffet, providing a tea kettle, offering instructions in Chinese or even just using figurative language. It’s definitely worth it to explore the great culture of China and make your guests feel extra special.

Let’s be ready when the time comes!

During the pandemic many hotels had to shut down or decrease availability all around Europe. This means that today there are fewer accommodation options, especially for bigger groups which are of great value. Each hotel should take a look in the mirror and evaluate their situation. How many guests are you able to accommodate and is there room for improvement?

Looking at the keen interest of Chinese travelers to explore the world, it makes sense for hotels to gear up to attract Chinese tourists by taking suitable actions with marketing themselves, now that the demand will arise again. Also they need to make sure they are ready to handle big groups of guests. 

To stay competitive and boost revenue, hotels need to stay abreast with the latest tools, systems, and technologies. The Property Management Systems for today travelers should be able to cater to all the core functionalities of the property and must be user-friendly, flexible, and scalable as well.

It is important to be visible and to connect to different OTA’S and TA’s. In order to save valuable time properties should use a PMS system that allows them to automate for example guest communication and one that offers a connection with revenue management systems, payment processors, accounting systems and anything else that might help with minimizing manual time consuming work. When you have a system that functions and operates seamlessly you can start focusing on serving guests in a better way. 

Many travelers from China use different technology from what is commonly used in the western world. Being able to manage the trip by using for example WeChat or Alipay, can make many Chinese travelers feel more comfortable and safe.

Many accommodations have implemented contactless check-in and check-out processes. This allows guests to work through their smartphones rather than interacting with front desk staff. Especially after Covid-19 this might be something that travelers from China will look for when choosing accommodation.

Is your accommodation ready?

There is much to consider regarding the times ahead. The Icelandic travel industry has been sailing smoothly after Covid, however now that China is opening up, we might be looking at an increase in the number of guests. Travelers from China have played a huge role in the Icelandic travel industry and the big question is whether we are in fact ready to welcome big groups from China again. Are we technologically equipped to meet their standards since travelers from China are used to working with different apps and systems then the western world.

Development in technology did not stop during the pandemic and it is important to learn and understand different tools that are available and find out what would suit your business. What is the status of your business and how are you able to make the work more efficient so it will suit bigger groups, reduce workload and offer even greater customer service?

Now is the time to evaluate and make arrangements. You should learn about different opportunities and find out how your accommodation can fit into the Chinese travelers dream holiday.

We are here to help. Check GODO’s solutions now.