Ksher Payment Points Out Three Major Trends “Cashless – Paperless – Digitalized” For Hospitality Industry to Attract Chinese Tourists in FIT Segment
Ksher Payment, leading fintech company, revealed the behavior analysis of Chinese tourists who plan to travel independently (Free Independent Traveler or FIT). This is the new trend of Chinese tourists and this segment enjoys increasingly high growth rate. Preferring cashless shopping, they use e-wallet on popular Chinese applications such as Alipay and WeChat Pay. They also live a digital lifestyle, starting from searching for information, making a hotel reservation, using hotel services, and making a payment to sharing their travel experiences on social media. To better serve this segment, Thai hospitality industry should adapt itself by applying innovation to accept digital payment, upgrade service standard, and address language barrier. The customers will then spread the words of mouth and the industry will attract more customers, which will lead to its success and top-of-mind position.
Mr. Jason Lee, Marketing Director of Ksher Payment Co., Ltd., shared the behavior of Chinese tourists in the FIT segment and digital marketing guideline under “Strategies for Conquering the China FIT Market” topic in “Digital Marketing for Hotel Business: Critical Tactics for 2020” seminar organized by the Thai Hotels Association. The event was welcomed more than 150 hoteliers and marketers in hospitality industry from across the country.
According to the data, the ratio between male and female tourists in FIT segment is quite close, 48% male and 52% female. For the age range, the first rank is those who are between 25 and 30 years old, accounting for 28%, followed by those who are younger than 24 years (22%) and between 31 and 35 years old (20%). More than 54% of Chinese tourists earned a bachelor’s degree. Most tourists, 62%, came from China’s 2nd tier cities such as Chengdu, Chongqing and Hangzhou while tourists from the 1st tier city such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Shenzhen are only 16%. In terms of spending, the tourists who spend 8,000 RMB per head per trip represents 47% while those who spend 6,000 RMB per head per trip represents 46%. The key factor that triggers their decision to visit Thailand is interesting activity, which is 91%. It is higher than the tourists’ consideration of budget, which is only 73%.
Mr. Lee said, “FIT Chinese tourists have three major trends – Cashless, Paperless and Digitalize – the hoteliers should evolve. They can then adapt themselves to fully meet the needs of Chinese tourists and attract tourists to continuously use the service.
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The first trend is Cashless. 64% of Chinese tourists prefer to pay by e-wallet through popular Chinese applications, both Alipay and WeChat Pay, and more than 40% never carry cash.
The second trend is Paperless. More than 92% of Chinese tourists use mobile phones and spend more than three hours a day on screen to search for tourist information such as accommodation, mean of transport, tourist attractions, restaurants and shopping areas. They also read reviews on mobile application instead of reading travel books and brochures or asking hotel staff.
The last trend is Digitalized. Chinese tourists live a fully digital lifestyle, starting from researching, making a reservation, accessing hotel services, making payments, to sharing their travel experiences on social media.”
“The hoteliers who want to penetrate the FIT segment should therefore adjust themselves faster. They should start from the most important thing, accepting the payment from e-wallet via popular Chinese applications, both Alipay and WeChat Pay. Moreover, they can apply innovation such as Remote Collection service on Ksher Boss application, which allows hotels to send their information, along with the details of remote payment. The customers can conveniently pay on the WeChat mobile app or pre-authorization service, which asks the customers to make a deposit by scanning the QR code. When the customers check out, the hotels can check and deduct the actual costs before refunding them the deposit,” said Mr. Lee.
“Most Chinese tourists do not ‘speak’ English well, which is a major obstacle to hotel service. Therefore, Ksher developed an operating system offering service innovation that improves the mode of communication. It connects the mobile apps of Chinese tourists with the hotels’ operating system to ensure easy communication via digital platform, reduce miscommunication, and increase customer satisfaction. The innovations include Smart Hotel Butler service, Mobile Menu and Multi-Language UI. In addition, it can analyze tourist data to further develop strategies and plans,” added Mr. Lee.
This payment service is free for hospitality and retail businesses interested in using Ksher Payment’s financial transaction solutions to scale up their business with both Chinese and Thai tourists! No application fee is required.