Engaging Chinese Travelers in Macau's Tourism and Travel Retail Sector: Post-COVID Strategies
ITC author

In June 2023, ITC organized a series of Change Management workshops and immersive Focus Group sessions for over 40 influential leaders in Macau, exploring digital opportunities in the tourism and travel retail sector. 

According to McKinsey & Company's Travel Insight article (2022), Chinese tourism has made an impressive recovery, surpassing pre-pandemic levels with a remarkable rebound of: 

  • 90% in travel volume 
  • 70% in spending 

As Chinese consumers start to display a renewed interest in international travel and overseas spending, it is crucial for the travel retail and hospitality industry to adapt and capitalize on this positive momentum. 

Below are some key takeaways from the engaging sessions: 

Table of Contents 

Interactive session during the workshop in Galaxy Macau meeting room

1. Understanding China's Unique Digital Landscape  

One of the focal points of the event was gaining a comprehensive understanding of China's unique digital landscape. 

China boasts an unparalleled digital ecosystem with a staggering number of over 1 billion mobile netizens and over 50% share of worldwide retail eCommerce spending (CNNIC, 2022). 

Leading the way are prominent digital trends such as Livestream, Short-form Videos, Social Commerce, and Metaverse, which are shaping the digital landscape in remarkable ways. 

Top 4 leading Digital Trends in China

By grasping the nuances of these popular trends, brands can tailor their strategies to resonate with the Chinese audience. 

In addition, brands need to strengthen the synergies between the 3 key funnels - Public Traffic, Private Traffic, and Offline – to facilitate meaningful interactions throughout the entire journey of Chinese customers. 

Private Traffic, in particular, is an increasingly important approach for brands to effectively impact customers. With the right digital strategy playbook to optimize Private Traffic and Offline channels, brands can: 

  • Build brand awareness 
  • Improve customer loyalty 
  • Drive better conversion rates 
  • Capture and leverage brand-owned data 

2. Leveraging Insights into Chinese Travelers' Behavior  

Presenter explaining Chinese traveler behavior post-covid

In the post-COVID era, Chinese travelers have become even more digitally savvy and have heightened expectations of services, seeking novel experiences.  

Brands need to delve into consumer insights to meet the travelers on their preferred channels, personalize their offerings, enhance customer experiences, and establish a competitive edge, including: 

  • Building relationships with the target audience before and after traveling 
  • Maximizing engagement through key Chinese digital platforms 
  • Offering convenient, user-friendly, and high-quality digital experiences. 

3. Digital Transformation Strategies Across the Customer Journey with Emphasis on the WeChat Ecosystem 

Brainstorming between industry players in Focus Group session

Finally, we discussed the best digital strategy roadmap, especially by leveraging Private Traffic domains like WeChat, for the hospitality and travel retail sector to catch the recovering traveling waves. 

WeChat is an omnipotent super app that boasts over 1 billion monthly active users and offers various digital experiences across the customer journey.

With the right playbook, brands can leverage WeChat to create immersive omnichannel customer experiences for Chinese travelers, including dedicated WeChat Mini Programs, Loyalty Programs, WeCom Clienteling, and Market Automation & Social CRM.

The event concluded with interactive Focus Group sessions for industry players to proactively brainstorm the adaptation in different scenarios to cater to the evolving needs of Chinese tourists and provide exceptional experiences that leave a lasting impression. 

Ready to Accelerate your Digital Transformation Journey in China?