Kochi: China's emerging class of young, educated and resource-rich travel lovers are passionate about visiting countries, especially in East and South Asia, but India is yet to figure in their list of top eight destinations, said experts on Thursday.
Kerala, as one of India's leading tourist destinations, must strive to latch on this new trend of graduates from China below 35 years touring abroad mostly with families, said Beijing-based Richard Matuzevich of the World Tourism Cities Federation at International Conference on Tourism Technology (ICTT).
At the opening session of ICCT on 'how to do social media tourism promotion to get Chinese tourists', Mr. Matuzevich noted that China has its financially well-off segment keen to show their peers that "we have been there, done this and that." With a monthly income ranging between $2,400-3,400, a chunk of them can speak foreign languages as well, he added. The average time such Chinese tourists spend on a visit abroad was nine to 10 days in a country.
As for social media, China has popular tools such as Weibo (microblogging website), Wechat (multipurpose messaging app equivalent to WhatsApp), DouYin (similar to TikTok), Little red book (a platform facilitating review of products including those on tourism), Bilibili (video-sharing facility akin to YouTube) and Meipai (short video platform), according to the speaker who learned Chinese language in Tsinghua University before graduating from University of International Business and Economics in 2013.
Mr. Matuzevich recalled a 2013 incident from when no less than 65,000 Chinese tourists keep flocking a lavender farm in New Zealand's Tasmania every year after compatriot model Zhang Xinyu posted on social media an image of hers with a doll of that colour where it is manufactured. He said India, particularly Kerala, offered enormous opportunities for such methods to woo Chinese tourists.
The talk was followed by a question-answer session. According to ICTT convener P.K. Anish Kumar, from 13.1 crore in 2017, the projected figure of Chinese tourists abroad is 20 crore by 2020.