With the Chinese expected to soon become the largest outbound tourist market on the planet, you would expect grateful recipients in the West to be gearing up for the influx?
Whilst a number of travel brands and destination marketers are making an extra effort to better serve this growing number of Chinese travellers, a recent study shows that many London hoteliers remain mute to how this demographic (affluent, eager to explore) engage in social media.
It isn't all about Twitter, for starters, meaning they are missing a golden opportunity.
A study of over 100 leading hotels (including 87 five-star and 15 four-star properties) in the UK capital found only six had a presence in a Twitter-esque service in China, Weibo, a brand which over 500 million users.
Within this six properties in Weibo, two hotels had yet to post any content, and three were just re-purposing existing material without any form of localisation, a key factor to consider when targeting Chinese travellers.
Only one, the May Fair Hotel, is an active participate in Weibo and posts fresh content on a regular basis.
The London-based hotels on Weibo inevitably have far fewer followers than most hotel accounts in China, with even the most-followed property in the capital on Weibo capturing only 1% or less of the followers of popular hotels in Beijing or Shanghai.
Perhaps even bigger omission from the social media pool in China was the lack of a presence in WeChat, an online messaging and social networking platform with over 400 million users.
WeChat is considered a useful travel industry-related service, with a string of features such as the ability to hail a taxi on demand, and the ability to book flights.
The study, from UK-based travel consultancy China Edge, concludes by saying that London hoteliers are yet to utilise the full potential of Weibo and WeChat services, given the fact that London attracts a higher percentage of independent Chinese travellers than many cities around the world.
Many Westerners (we do this at Tnooz) talk to Chinese travel brands via WeChat. Often a senior representative from a Chinese travel company will be available via WeChat, or a company's official account page in WeChat is used to answer questions.
Often the response time for brands using these channels is far higher than other methods, with travel brands often responding on their official pages in WeChat within ten seconds, whereas in Twitter, the average response time easily is always over one hour.
NB:China social image via Shutterstock.