Travel agents play a vital role in China. Many Chinese travellers prefer to use an agent due to language barriers, knowledge gaps, visa preparation and convenience and value.
While many reports show that so-called independent travellers engage increasingly in their own initial research – especially online, through social media and personal recommendations – many will still consult with a travel agent or tour operator at some point in the planning of their visit. According to the CNTA, total numbers of outbound visitors assisted or advised by approved agencies increased by 10% to 40 million in total in 2014.
Therefore, as well as driving consumer demand, engaging the travel agent and ‘influencing the influencers’ must play a key part of any strategy for any tourism supplier looking to attract the Chinese visitor.
The China National Tourism Administration keeps a close watch on the outbound tourism industry and only a small percentage of China’s 20,000+ licensed travel agencies are authorised to sell travel to Europe and Britain, although the number of staff in some of these agencies can run to the thousands.
As is the trend in other more developed markets, China’s outbound travel agents and tour operators find themselves needing to offer increasing levels of flexibility and a more bespoke approach to building travel itineraries and tours. This is essential if they are to retain business from their increasingly well-informed and discerning clients and compete with the online sector.
The service-value proposition is especially true when agents deal with the personal assistants of the very wealthy for their travel planning.
The number of outbound travel professionals in China is increasing and they face a steep learning curve in order to better advise clients, make original recommendations and create more diverse tour products for the numerous destinations they sell. This rapid evolution of the Chinese outbound travel industry is in turn creating a a demand for greater knowledge, diversification and specialization.
The ‘Destination Britain’ team has invested in extensive research from numerous sources to identify the current key travel influencers and product planners across China when it comes to outbound travel to Britain, so as to ensure our distribution list is the most up-to-date and targeted in the sector. This will then provide all key relevant personnel with valuable, fresh information directly from the destination market they are selling. To find out more about how you can be featured, click HERE.
A publication like this would be a valuable resource for additional information about new opportunities...there is nothing else that we receive in print that is quite like this
Shelley Jin, GM, Shanghai Yangzi International Travel Service
Our team appreciates anything which helps increase their knowledge about travel opportunities in the regions they sell, so they look forward to receiving and using the new Destination Guides
Martin Xin, General Manager, CITS Changsha