The data analysis company GlobalData recommends WeChat, the mobile multi-purpose messaging service, and says that due to its massive penetration, it should be the centre point of your marketing strategy to succeed in the Chinese market.
According to GlobalData, the channel is taking shape to be a key means of attracting Chinese customers at the start of the next decade, around 2022. China is the world’s largest outbound tourist market with about 136 million travelling abroad in 2017.
The data analysis company forewarns that with the rapid growth expected for the Chinese giant in the next five year and its ability to issue tourists and their spending power, tourism brands and companies must take full advantage of WeChat’s capabilities and market reach to attract this massive demand.
The software is a mobile messaging and social media app developed by the Chinese corporation Tencent. China’s growing middle class together with the easing of visa restrictions around the world are driving the outbound tourism boom, along with the continued exponential growth of air connections in the country.
More modest estimates are astonishing, by 2012, China will be by the largest outbound market with about 191 million tourists, 60 million more than the US market.
Chinese tourists’ lust for travel is creating endless opportunities for actors in the sector if they can overcome the enormous cultural and language difference. Konstantina Boutsioukou, Associate Analyst at Global Data, says: “WeChat, with almost one billion active monthly users, has become embedded into the daily interactions and activities of Chinese people. Global tourism players must capitalize on the new features of WeChat to raise brand awareness and ultimately drive sales.”
WeChat Pay is the mobile payment unit of the social app. It’s estimated that 800 million of the 980 million active WeChat users also use it. Apart from domestic payments in China, it can be used in 25 countries and handles transactions in 13 currencies.
Big international businesses are now joining WeChat Pay to attract high-end Chinese tourists. KLM Airlines was the first from outside China to offer its customers the possibility to pay using WeChat Pay. Now, the race has just begun, but already there are few starting positions to get a good spot despite the enormous size of the Chinese cake.