The European Travel Commission (ETC) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have just published a ‘netnographic’ study Understanding Chinese Outbound Tourism – What the Chinese Blogosphere is Saying About Europe.
Approximately four million Chinese travellers ventured to Europe in 2011, a number set to grow rapidly in the years ahead. Using millions of stories shared by these and other Chinese travellers online, this study examines what travelling means to them and how they conceptualise Europe. It is unique in the way it seeks to understand Chinese travellers to Europe: combining new, quantitative methods to analyse over 70 million social media posts with qualitative, ‘netnographic’ methods to study central themes in-depth.
China now has over half a billion internet users, more than twice as many as the United States of America and representing over a third of the total population. This has profound implications for the travel industry. Online travel bookings, estimated at € 12 billion in 2011, are skyrocketing, with 58% year-on-year growth according to Emarketer. A number of large players, notably internet giants Tencent and Baidu, are positioning themselves to seize a slice of the increasingly competitive online travel market.
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For an overview of the contents of the report, see:http://www.etc-corporate.org/market-intelligence2/what-chinese-blogosphere-saying