The new Chinese traveler will not be receptive to old marketing strategies

(L to R) COO Lou Schubert, Wego CEO Ross Veitch and Skift Asia Editor-in-Chief Peden Bhutia at the Skift Global Forum East in <a class=Dubai on December 15, 2022. Skift” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTYzOQ–/″/>

(L to R) COO Lou Schubert, Wego CEO Ross Veitch and Skift Asia Editor-in-Chief Peden Bhutia at the Skift Global Forum East in Dubai on December 15, 2022. Skift

Marketers beware: Previous methods of marketing to Chinese consumers, including travelers, will not work as well today, as their preferences have changed during the pandemic. Chief Operating Officer Schubert Lou said that after November 11 in China singles daywhich has its parallels to Black Friday shopping sprees in other places, it became clear that sales levels “flattened” and that consumers focused more on the essentials and the things that add value.

Lou said he could not predict when Chinese people would start traveling abroad again, although travel search traffic is skyrocketing. However, when Chinese travelers return, they will be more cautious and not just travel to any available destination, he said, adding that as Singles’ Day showed, Chinese travelers will pay more attention to brands and quality than they did in the past.

Skift Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia interviewed Lou from the online travel agency and We’re going CEO Ross Veitch on “Growing the Middle East as a Global Gateway” at Skift Global Forum East in Dubai on Thursday.

Lou recommended that travel marketers now add sweeteners to offers, such as a one-day subway pass that some Thai hotels offer; make them available through bundles or holiday packages at the right time, for example around the Lunar new year holidays and find the right marketing channels.

For example, Lou said the same content might get 100,000 views on a search engine, but might get 1.4 million views on TikTok.

Marketers who focus on just one channel may not be successful, he said. “Your standard way of doing marketing might not be as effective,” Lou said.

Simply marketing hotels, flights and cars the traditional way will no longer suffice, Lou said, saying content needs to be inspirational and go beyond quick-hit viral videos by educating travelers about what’s happening. they can do in a destination and why it can be special.

“For me, it’s the future,” Lou said.

Regarding the Middle East, Veitch said the Middle East has an addressable market of around 700 million travelers, which is similar to Southeast Asia. “So it’s a very attractive market,” he said, referring to the Middle East.

Wego, a price comparison and booking site with most of its operations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, has recently seen travelers staying longer and booking more rooms, Veitch added.

Wego uses a co-investment strategy with destinations and tourism boards to work together to drive demand, based on data learnings, Veitch said.

There is a lot of unease about visa requirements these days, although the majority of travel Wego sees in big markets such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates is domestic, it said. -he declares. With visa wait times skyrocketing, Wego has created a popular tool for travelers to check their visa outlook and status, Veitch said.

The Wego co-founder and CEO said the company is seeing two-way travel from the Middle East to India and back, and some of that is price sensitive.

“A lot of Indians almost consider Emirates their national airline now,” Veitch said, noting that the carrier flies to many cities.

Lou from in China also sees India as a vital market.

“We see India as a leader in generating the traffic needed in an Asian recovery,” he added.

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