Golden Week is a semi-annual Chinese public holiday celebrated every year in January/ February and October. Millions of Chinese people take this opportunity to travel abroad, the UK being one of the most popular destinations for luxury travel. According to VisitBritain from January to March 2018 there were 68,000 visits from China, with a total spend of £96 million. Alibaba Alipay reported that the UK accounted for 15% of the total Chinese spend in the EMEA during October Golden Week 2018. With an exchange rate favouring the Chinese traveller, Britain will likely be a top spot for HNW travellers this quarter, making the 6th-10th of February an important opportunity for the UK HORECA industry. So, are you harnessing the opportunity fully?
Afternoon tea, considered a quintessentially British experience is on the must- do for many Chinese tourists. But with such competition in the market, how do you make yourself a go-to destination for afternoon tea during Golden Week?
- Promote your afternoon tea on Chinese social media platforms. Social Media is a key marketing tool in China, but if you are only using western platforms you may not be harnessing its full potential. China’s most popular platform is WeChat with 1.08 billion monthly users reported in Q3 of 2018. Using WeChat to promote your afternoon tea could result in increased visitors during Golden Week and attracting Chinese social media influencers could be a big boost to your brand.
- Promote your afternoon tea experience to Chinese luxury travel advisers and concierge services. According to View from ITML 58% of Chinese HNW travellers used a travel adviser in 2016. Luxury travel is a competitive industry and operators need to offer the best most unique experiences to their customers. So if your afternoon tea is something special, these are the people you need to be telling about it. Top Chinese luxury travel adviser services include 8 Continents Travel, CITS, Quintessentially Lifestyle and Deluxe Mice Tour.
- Consider offering special Golden Week deals. We all love to get good value for money, but unlike the British, the Chinese have a deeply ingrained bargaining culture. So offering a little something extra to make the experience special could set your afternoon tea apart.
- Make things easy. The language barrier can be frustrating for guests who don’t speak a lot of English. So if you don’t have one already, consider translating your afternoon tea menu into Mandarin. If you have Mandarin speaking staff make sure they are available to your guests during GW. Bicester Village (the UK’s 2nd most popular destination for Chinese tourists) now accepts Alibaba Alipay, which is the worlds’ largest online and mobile payment platform widely used in China, meaning Chinese visitors could shop easily with their Alipay mobile wallet app (similar to Apple Pay). If Chinese tourists are a key customer for you, this may be something you want to consider.
- Go the extra mile. Tea is an integral part of Chinese culture, with China being the world’s largest producer of the beverage. Surprise your guests by offering a popular Chinese tea during GW.
Our top 5 Chinese teas
- Canton Big Red Robe (Chinese name: Da Hong Pao 大紅袍)
- Canton Cooked Puerh (Chinese name: Shú Pu-erh 熟茶)
- Canton Dragon Well (Chinese name: Long Jing 龙井 )
- Canton Silver Needle (Chinese name: Yin Zhen 银针)
- Canton Limited Edition No. 1 Yunnan Pure Gold (Chinese name: Dian Hong 滇红)
If you would like us to help improve your tea offering for Chinese guests contact us here.
Image credit: The Wolseley