CIC and GroupM jointly released China social travel white paper in 2013. By collecting and analyzing social media discussion and related information, they classified Chinese travelers into five categories which could be helpful for brands to make market strategies.
China National Tourism Administration estimated that Chinese tourism industry would reach 2.9 trillion yuan (USD 471.4 billion). Travel became the hot topic in social networks, and social networks played an important part in travel plan making.
This white paper was based on Sina Weibo. CIC and groupm analyzed 2.96 million posts about travel and more than 10 thousand travel lovers’ Weibo posts. They classified Chinese travelers into five categories in the order of online discussion participation from low to high: business travelers, self drive travelers, group travelers, luxury shopping travelers, backpackers.
Hotels and transportation were the major topics of business travelers. In contrast of talking about five star hotels, they talked more about economic hotels. They cared about the service and location of the hotel. When considering about airlines, they preferred the one with meals and punctuality. One suggestion for marketers is when put out an ad, try to show your real product and service and avoid exaggeration.
Self drive travelers are usually big fan of cars. Except for talking about auto club activities, they would also discussed about car renting and maintenance. They preferred to get information from car dealers. Data showed that the self drive travelers’ discussions were motivated by making friends, enjoying freedom and spending time with family. For advertisers, they could achieve unexpected effects highlighting freedom and family time.
Group travelers loved to share information about travel agencies and their photos. Group travel was more likely to be affected by social news and social media discussions. Advertisers should combine their characteristics with social events.
Luxury shopping travelers loved show off their stuff on social networks. Leather products and haute couture were the favorite topics. They usually got their information from Taobao sellers and social shopping platforms. One way to stimulate their consumption is to make your brand special and unique.
Backpackers loved to share their experience on social networks more than the other four categories. They loved talking about Yunan and Hunan provinces, outdoor equipment and camera. They cared about the world and freedom, if brands could embody these elements in ads, they would attract backpackers.