Specifically targeting Chinese Guests on Airbnb (and other short-term home rental platforms) can provide access to a 315 billion USD market – the outbound Chinese travel and tourism industry. In 2019, more than 6.3 million Chinese traveled abroad.
This week, China Gravy, your expert for advertising in China, reveals how you can market your property to Chinese holidaymakers, and the specialties of hosting Chinese guests.
China is among the fastest-growing countries in the world. If you are an entrepreneur, homeowner, or investor, you may have thought about tapping into this market…but how?
As the Coronavirus-pandemic is flattening in Asia, the Chinese tourism industry is slowly rebooting. As soon as the rest of the world has overcome the Covid-situation as well, especially the US and Europe, Chinese holidaymakers are keen to explore these highly sought-after destinations. Take advantage of the time now to prepare your Airbnb or other short-term rentals for Chinese guests.
Where Chinese Love to Travel to
According to a recent study by Nielsen, the preferred Chinese travel destinations for outbound tourism are other countries in Asia, the USA, and Europe. In Europe, visitors from the Middle Kingdom particularly love to travel to France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.
While Chinese tourists traditionally value the security and reliability of established hotel brands, a newer and more curious generation of Chinese travelers is emerging. Click here to discover the latest Chinese travel trends.
What Sets Chinese Guests Apart
Most hosts on Airbnb will appreciate Chinese visitors. Understanding Chinese travelers’ needs and fulfilling them before they book or arrive, will boost your bookings.
Also, take a look at this article about Chinese culture, to get a better understanding of Chinese customs and traditions.
Pros of Chinese Travelers
In general, Chinese holidaymakers…
- follow rules well and are cooperative. Make sure to communicate them clearly on your Airbnb profile, ideally in Mandarin.
- take off their shoes when entering a home. So, providing house slippers or indoor footwear is a nice and crucial gesture for Chinese guests.
- love to make tea at home and use hot water for making instant noodles. Provide a water heater or water kettle for their convenience.
- who travel abroad are educated and well-off, so expect friendly and interested guests.
- wish to share their holiday impressions with their family, friends, and social network. Provide a reliable online connection (WiFi) with a good upload speed, so they can stay in touch.
- are enthusiastic smart-phone users. You will reach them easily on social media/messaging apps like WeChat, whereas they may not check their emails.
Next, let’s look at potential challenges and how to deal with them before they become a problem.
Potential Cons of Chinese Travelers & How to Mitigate them
On the other hand, the following characteristics and habits may differ from other guests. If you make sure to communicate your expectations clearly beforehand, they shouldn’t be a big deal though.
Most Chinese Airbnb guests…
- like cooking Chinese food at the holiday home, which can cause an intense smell during breakfast, lunch and dinner times. If you think this could disturb the neighbors, add it to the house rules.
- will use your TV, dishwasher, laundry machine, and other appliances. Make sure to leave detailed instructions on how to use them, ideally in Mandarin and with pictures.
- are rather loud and noisy. It’s best to add a short description of your expectations (quiet hours, especially for your neighbors) in the guidelines, ideally in Chinese.
- won’t speak English or only a little. Make sure to clarify everything beforehand, especially the check-in and key handing over. The easiest way to avoid any misunderstandings is to download and use WeChat in order to communicate with your Chinese guests. They can understand simple written English more easily, and both you and your Chinese visitors can use the WeChat translation function, which is much better than Google Translate.
- are less independent and may require more information and interaction with the host. Especially, as they are generally less familiar with concepts like Airbnb and Couchsurfing, and may expect hotel services.
If you keep these things in mind, both the host and guests will be happy! After all, the Chinese outbound tourism market is booming.
Sidenote: Visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan do not consider themselves Chinese and likely will be offended if you call them Chinese.
Next, let’s look at where and how you can find Chinese guests for Airbnb and similar platforms.
How to Reach Chinese Holidaymakers for Airbnb & Co
So, you have an Airbnb holiday apartment or house outside of China, for example, in Europe or the US. Now, how can you target Chinese guests?
- First of all, only an estimated 1% of China’s 1.4 billion population speak English. Make sure to have your Airbnb listing professionally translated into Chinese and tailored to your audience’s culture. The same goes for your Weibo, WeChat, Ctrip, Meituan, and KOL communications.
- To reach potential travelers/customers in mainland China, Sina Weibo “China’s Twitter” may be the most suitable platform. Tip: Make sure to use relevant hashtags and ads to reach the Chinese around the world.
- For the booking process, and once your guests are on their way/arriving, WeChat is the best messenger service to stay in touch. Tip: In WeChat, you can export your contact details as QR code, which you can add to your house rules in order to stay in touch with your Chinese guests.
- Promote your listing on Ctrip, the largest online travel agency in China, and also one of the largest travel service providers worldwide.
- Also promote your listing on Meituan, a popular Chinese travel platform.
- For both platforms, Weibo and WeChat, you can reach an extensive audience by marketing your accommodation through Chinese travel KOLs. Tip: Increase your exposure through so-called Key Opinion Leaders, who have millions of fans and followers as well as an authentic and credible standing. Click here to read about the latest influencer marketing in China trends.
For more information on how to target Chinese customers, click here. Keep in mind that depending on your location, hosting guests via Airbnb may require a business license, paying taxes, and other regulations.
Besides, no matter where your guests are from, make sure to be a responsible host and make the visit a pleasant experience for your guests. After all, Airbnb is not designed to copy hotel services, but ideally allows a more personal or local insight into a culture and how people live in a foreign country.
Chinese Guests on Airbnb – The Takeaway
When it comes to Chinese Guests on Airbnb, it is best to show more patience and understanding as the cultural differences between Chinese and “Westerners” are quite significant. Make sure to be explicit, but friendly, when explaining your expectations and house rules.
A specialist for China digital marketing like China Gravy can help you with writing compelling descriptions in Mandarin Chinese, keeping in mind the specifics of the Chinese culture.
Besides, we help you to create your Weibo account including appealing ads and campaigns. Moreover, we set up your WeChat official account as well as engaging WeChat advertising and WeChat marketing campaigns.
Finally, China Gravy is excited to connect you to the trendiest influencers and KOL marketing providers in the Chinese travel market.
So, what are you waiting for? Get “China Ready” now! Contact China Gravy for your personal FREE consultation!
Disclaimer: This article is not sponsored by Airbnb or similar platforms. China Gravy receives no affiliate or other commission.