UK businesses must respond better to China’s distinctive mobile-centric marketing culture to attract its fast-growing outbound tourist market and sell more successfully to Chinese consumers at home.
This will be one of the main messages to delegates at the world’s first China-Europe Air Transport Symposium, being hosted on 6 September 2016 by the University of Surrey and consultancy MIDAS Aviation. The event will deliver practical advice to support the commercial objectives of airlines, airports, economic decision-makers and travel companies looking to build effective and long-lasting relationships with China’s aviation industry.
“There’s a huge opportunity for the UK to attract Chinese tourists, but most businesses fail to appreciate how important it is to have a distinctly Chinese mobile marketing strategy,” says Zheng Lei, director of the Centre of Aviation Research at the University of Surrey. “China’s culture is even more mobile-centric than the West, with platforms like WeChat right at the heart of the country’s consumer eco-system. Engaging customers on the right platforms with the right user experience is fundamental to tapping the rising tide of China’s outbound tourism.”
Speakers at the one-day conference will include Stephen Wang, president of Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines, which has been a pioneer of imaginative uses of social media. Other speakers include Guoxiang Wu, senior vice president of marketing at China Southern Airlines; Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications for VisitBritain; and Matt McDougall, CEO of Chinese digital marketing agency Digital Jungle, which helps western brands connect with China’s consumers.
According to the UN World Tourism Organisation, in 2015 China continued to lead the global outbound travel market, benefitting Asian destinations as well as the United States and Europe. Spending by Chinese travellers increased 26% versus 2014 to reach US$292bn and the total number of China’s outbound travellers rose by 10% to 128m.
John Grant, founder, MIDAS Aviation says: “Building a vibrant air transport network between Europe and China depends on fully capitalising upon the trading opportunities between our markets. Most European businesses recognise the huge opportunity the Chinese market represents but only a few have come close to tapping its potential.
“This event will bring together the largest ever delegation of Chinese aviation executives and experts in the UK. It will give a rare opportunity to hear about the structural, technological and cultural levers that can transform a company’s success in engaging China’s huge consumer audience.”
Drawing on the experience of senior Chinese and European aviation, tourism and marketing experts with first-hand experience of working in China and selling to Chinese businesses and consumers, the symposium will deal with the intricacies of doing business with China. Topics to be covered include the process of effective relationship building with purchase decision influencers, how Chinese airlines plan air services to Europe, how to support launched services and how to increase appeal to the Chinese outbound market.
The one-day symposium will take place at the University of Surrey on Tuesday 6 September 2016, with tickets priced at £475. For further information and to book: www.midasaviation.com. The event is sponsored by OAG, the air travel intelligence company.