Pondering Chinese Tourism
November 23, 2014
It is striking how few Chinese tourists come to the northern part of North America. Equally striking is the growth and size of the Chinese market.
In 2013, only 1,800 Chinese tourists visited the Yukon territory. Total air passengers were 292,598, so less than 1% of air passengers were Chinese citizens.
- In Canada inbound Chinese travelers now surpass all other nations except the United States. In 2013, Canada had 360,000 visitors from China.
- In 2013 Chinese overseas spending in Canada amounted to $35B.
- By 2020 there will be 220,000,000 affluent Chinese.
These facts suggest huge potential for visitors from China to come north. Yet challenges exist:
- Language. There is a great need for travel information in Simplified Chinese 歡迎光臨.
- Marketing. The Chinese market is very different than that of North America. In some ways it is more advanced: more smart phone - there are 1.2 B smart phones in China. Social networks are different and more complex than in North America and everyone uses them. In China there are 500 million social media users, 50 million active daily users.
- Infrastructure. Poor infrastructure in many parts of the north would limit the ability to travel into many areas. Internet connectivity is crucial.
- Pace of Life. China is a very fast paced society, while the north is slow.
- Service levels. Stay at a hotel in China and you could expect excellent service. 5 star and 4 star hotels are in demand. Such hotels do not exist in the north.
While many challenges exist there is every reason to expect tourism from China to grow strongly. Less than 1% of Chinese travelers come to Canada.
- Chichaku Marketing, "China Ready Program:China Forum Yukon" presentation made Nov-14 by Jonathan Reynolds