Here’s a stat that will certainly grab the attention of any marketer: Spending by Chinese tourist is fast-approaching US$1 trillion. Fuelled by a desire for great experiences, comfortable accommodation, and fine dining, arrivals to neighboring South Korea alone are closing in on one million a month, as Chinese tourists grow in affluence.

Chinese travelers go airborne

Airlines are already taking cashing in on the boom; Regional carriers such as AirAsia and Vietnam Airlines, thousands of flights are being added for festive periods such as Chinese New year (CNY).

2016 saw a record number of outbound Chinese travelers, according to CTrip and the Chinese Tourism Academy. Six million travelers will be flying out of China this new year, to explore neighboring countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore. This CNY for instance, Chinese tourism revenue exceeded $45 billion, up 16 percent year-on-year. Other regional events such as Korea’s One Asia Festival, Japan’s Comiket and Singapore’s Great Singapore Sale can also draw hundreds of thousands of tourists.

Besides routing through the same places, Chinese tourists are also using the same platforms. eMarketer found that three in four Chinese tourists used their smartphone for social activities last holiday season, and more than half made payments with mobile.

Use down-to-earth advertising

Putting two and two together, mobile emerges as the keystone in an omnichannel campaign to engage tourists. With telling data such as language settings, location and service providers, brands can create highly customized campaigns to stand out and stay top of mind.

Duty-free stores with price cuts to entice travelers should turn to mobile to reinforce foot traffic to points of purchase and draw in tourists. With anonymous mobile device identifiers such as GPS coordinates and online periods, brands can gain actionable insights into their consumers, and engage them at key locations and timings.

Picture this: a Chinese tourist at their departing terminal waiting for their flight sees a mobile ad in Chinese for a new line of makeup. The ad proposes a store locator to go to the nearest duty-free point of sale with an exclusive discount and a product giveaway for their trip. At airport terminals, the mobile is the most individual medium for brands to reach out and spark a conversation. To further refine this consumer journey, the brand can target smartphone users at popular landmarks or tourist destinations at arrival, and re-boost their new line of makeup. This time with another store-locator for the nearest point of purchase in the new city with useful information such as store opening hours.

All this is possible with a clear process of targeting, engaging and retargeting. By geofencing airport terminals and matching against specific interests, mobile campaigns can be delivered to highly-targeted audience with personalized and useful information. Brands such as L’Oreal have already used highly personalized campaigns to drive more than double the average engagement rate and view time compared to the industry average.

Keep it personal

With enough historical data, you can create in-depth audience profiles to truly understand each visitor. From expats heading home to luxury shoppers to globetrotters, the frequency and places they visit, coupled with their responses to ads can give valuable insights to their preferences. Hence, it is essential to leverage the full spectrum of options available on mobile to create personalized, engaging experiences.

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