Written by: Yixuan Li

As outbound Chinese travellers become more and more tech-savvy, it’s hard to keep track of their next moves due to a complete different digital ecosystem China sits from the rest of the world.

Each year, with nearly 20 millions Chinese travelling aboard, they spend as much as 200 billion dollars, and on a double-digits growth in the past 10 years. WeChat, the number one messaging app in China with 600 million monthly active users, offers travellers and marketeers the opportunity to establish connections seamlessly.

Let’s take a look at 5 strategies brands have successfully employed on WeChat in 2015 to attract Chinese tourists worldwide:

 

  1. Urban Heatmap

WeChat formally launched urban heatmap function before the eve of China’s biggest travel season, the National Golden Week. Users can check real-time traffic of attractions in China and get alerts for crowded places to help with travel planning.

Urban heatmap

 

With WeChat’s massive user databases, the semni-usage of big data of WeChat urban heatmao hints big plans ahead from Tencent, China’s internet conglomerate which owns WeChat, to engage travellers digitally.

2. Smart Hotel Room

Among 2.3 millions Chinese travelling to the United States, Las Vegas sits among their top destination. Caesar’s LINQ Hotel & Casino seized the opportunity to partner up with WeChat to showcase the first connected suit in Las Vegas.

bedroom

 

By scanning a room-specific QR code, WeChat users can connect to the suite and control various aspects, such as lighting, thermostats, curtain, and door lock, of the room remotely through their phones via WeChat.

3. Check-in service

One prominent feature on WeChat for brands is opening their subscription or service accounts to reach followers directly. China southern airline launched its check-in service through the channel for users to cut the long lines at airpot check-in desks.

check-in service

 

4. Location-based Service

The location-based services offered by WeChat not only make it easier for users to find friends, but also promote business visibilities. Users who follow Hyatt Hotels can simply find the nearest Hyatt hotel by sharing their location in WeChat with just one button. This feature helps to promote lesser known hotels from the corporations.

location

 

5. Cross border Payment

Starting Sept 30, Chinese travelers can use WeChat payment services to buy products at eight Daimaru Matsuzakaya department stores in Japan. Users can pay bills by scanning the quick-response codes on WeChat.

cross-border payment