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  • Writer's pictureStefan Merkl

Explore Marketing Update - Issue 21

Travel Trends and Digital Media Landscape in China 

As more organizations increase their marketing efforts in China, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the market overview and media landscape especially the fast-changing world of digital media, before committing to any specific platforms. China's travel and digital media landscape is continually changing and brands should tailor their offerings and also leverage the unique features of the various social media platforms to help them achieve their goals.

To begin, millennial travelers have the highest growth potential, spending 26% of their income on travel and want to explore new, off-the-beaten-path experiences. They look for opportunities to create experiences that they can share with their networks. Shopping remains one of the key travel activities.

However, fewer travelers travel to get the luxury item as the price gap between buying in-country and overseas is now closer. Instead, they shop for unique, local products which are only available in that destination. Therefore, clearly showcasing your local products, artisan markets, or limited edition products that are only available from your location is recommended.

Secondly, Chinese travelers are connected via mobile with 80% of web traffic in China originating through apps instead of browsers. As a result, 76.5% of travel bookings are now mobile. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and if your organization has a WeChat account, you can also set up WeChat mini programs. WeChat mini programs are similar to an app, but there is no need for users to download an app which then frees up the space on their mobile devices. All they need to is search for your mini program within WeChat to access all the information you have setup. 

Additionally, short form video content (15 - 60 seconds) is also booming with 74.1% of China's 802 million netizens being registered users of at least one short video app for news, entertainment, and more. Douyin (Tik Tok is the English version) is the fastest growing and most downloaded app in 2018 with 180 million monthly active users and 85% of the users being millennials. If you are looking at connecting with a younger audience, Douyin brings a fresh, youthful and fun appeal. 

To learn more about China's travel trends and digital media landscape, email Ann Tok. Additionally, Sally Berry, a long-time tourism pro, recently launched a WeChat online training course for tourism professionals to get familiarized with WeChat with tips on ways to use this app effectively. Check it out.


Now Open: The Flyer San Francisco

Created by award-winning global attraction developer Triotech in partnership with W.A. Alter, Inc. of San Francisco, The Flyer – San Francisco, is now open at Pier 39 at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. As the world's first flying theater in 3D, the attraction features cinematic artistry and state-of-the-art HD film footage captured with the help of drones and helicopters, and blended with computer-generated imagery (CGI). The journey begins when guests enter the two-level structure, housed inside an existing theater space right at the entrance of Pier 39 next to the Aquarium of the Bay and Hard Rock Café. There, guests are introduced to the protagonists of the adventure, by engaging sophisticated projection mapping technology during two pre-shows. Revealing a budding romance and a curious seagull (which also serves as the attraction’s mascot), whimsical vignettes will bounce across custom screens to set the scene for the ultimate flying experience over San Francisco.


Oakland is on National Geographic’s Best Trip List  

Travelers are adding Oakland to their 2019 travel list, with National Geographic Traveler’s recent call out of Oakland’s dynamic cultural scene in the Best Trips 2019 issue! The widely circulated magazine recently revealed its 28 must-see destinations and travel experiences for 2019. For the first time, Oakland made Traveler’s list, one of four U.S. destinations, and the only U.S. listing in the Culture category. Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the country, with over 125 languages spoken within the city. This diversity has created a vibrant culture and welcoming community in Oakland, and is reflected within the city’s culinary scene, arts, nightlife and events. The city has long been home to innovators, creatives, and artists and offers unique experiences to explore many types of art forms. Oakland’s culinary scene welcomes visitors to experience its epicurean endeavors where chefs test out their creative culinary skills and deliver amazing cultural experiences. Visitors can indulge in Oakland’s culture through the city’s major events, including Restaurant Week in January, Black Joy Parade in February, Oakland Art Month in May, Pride Parade & Festival in September and festivals throughout the summer.


More Attractions Added to The New York Pass

Guests using the New York Pass will have access to experience even more attractions and tours during their visit. New attractions added include the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, The Colors Factory, El Museum del Barrio, and tours such as the Queens Experience on Foot, Welcome to Harlem: Harlem Jazz Series, and more. In addition to the new attractions, the New York Pass also offers guests free entry to more than 100 other top New York attractions including the iconic Empire State Building. The pass offers huge savings versus the attraction gate prices and the ability to skip lines at selected attractions. To learn more, go to

The New York Pass cover


Muir Woods National Monument Reopens

Tower Tours offers multiple daily departures to the popular Muir Woods National Monument just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, where guests can walk amongst giant redwood trees in a forest that's more than 1,000 years old. Over the past few years, this tranquil National Monument has gained greatly in popularity and therefore steps had to be taken to avoid overcrowding, and ensure the continued well being of this protected natural preserve. Therefore, access to the isolated canyon that's filled with ancient coastal redwood trees that tower up to 260 feet tall, now is timed. Hence participating in one of Tower Tours' guided small-group experience is an easy way to include this natural marvel in visits to San Francisco.

Redwood trees at Muir Woods National Monument


Unlimited Biking Now Offers e-Bikes

Unlimited Biking has launched its latest rental product – Cannondale Quick NEWO e-bikes. Through Unlimited Biking, guests interested in exploring New York City by bike can rent this brand new lightweight top-of-the-line e-bike with an efficient aluminum step-through frame and ergonomic touch points including handlebar, grips, and saddle, which offers a comfortable ride, and a fun and easy way to explore. These new e-bikes make discovering New York accessible also to those travelers that need that extra "nudge" to make it a comfortable and stress-free experience. Accessories such as helmet, color-coded map, basket, and bike lock, are all included free of charge. For further details, go to

Couple on Unlimited Biking's e-bikes in Central Park


Winter in Tahoe South

Named the #1 Place That Prove Winter is the Most Beautiful Season by, Lake Tahoe offers plenty of winter recreation for travelers on a quest for skiing, snowboarding, sledding and more. With over 60 miles of trails, there is something for everyone from beginners to pro. For those who prefer to relax, enjoy lesser-known activities including taking a dip in a hot spring, go shopping or just sit back and relax in one of the spas in the area.

Tahoe South ski slope

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