With the largest outbound travel market in the world — both in size and value — opening up its borders early this year, tourism operators are eager to tap into Chinese penchant for novel experiences and deep exploration. According to a forecast by China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, Chinese border crossings will touch 170-180 million in 2024 surpassing the pre-pandemic height of 155 million. Following the pandemic plunge, the number is expected to climb to 110 million this year. Leisure travel, like in the previous years, will dominate the scene, with sustainable travel piquing the interests of many a tourist.
To reach the post-Covid-19 Chinese traveller, whom McKinsey characterises as hyper-digitized, experience-oriented, exploration enthusiasts in its latest Survey of Chinese Tourist Attitudes, the regional travel and tourism industry will have to deploy more than the usual marketing strategies. Home to more than 1 billion smartphone users, China is one of the most digitally savvy consumers in the world whose daily lives revolve around mobile technologies and social media. They search for travel destinations, book accommodation and plan itineraries on smartphones. In order to sway these hyper-digitized consumers, the travel industry needs advertising solutions that precisely target smartphone users. That’s where Petal Ads, Huawei’s advertising platform, with its understanding of local culture and strong market presence, comes in.
“Petal Ads is an excellent platform to tap into the Chinese market,” says William Hu, Managing Director of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Middle East and Africa Eco Development and Operation.
Travel and tourism players can leverage our platform capability paired with our expertise and experience of creating highly effective strategy to increase brand awareness, generate leads and attract Chinese travellers, which will ultimately lead to business growth.
“Travel and tourism players can leverage our platform capability paired with our expertise and experience of creating highly effective strategy to increase brand awareness, generate leads and attract Chinese travellers, which will ultimately lead to business growth. This is due to our expertise in the local Chinese market, targeting capabilities, ad format options, localisation support and data insights.”
Hu believes Petal Ads’ capabilities are unparalleled when it comes to audience targeting and segmenting. “Our Data Management Platform is built with first-party data and considering the fact that hardware and software are designed and engineered by Huawei, our precision targeting delivers the ad to the right audience. Finer elements like language, imagery, design and relevance play a huge role in driving users through the acquisition funnel. Hence, we have a vast team of experts to help industry players navigate through the localisation of ads and create ads that are visually appealing and culturally relevant to attract customers.”
As part of its efforts to showcase its diverse and sophisticated capabilities firsthand to the travel and tourism industry in the region, Petal Ads took part in this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. Using insights from its data management platform for specific audiences based on various indicators that range from basic tags to behavioural tags, scenario-based tags and custom tags, Petal Ads helps tailor marketing and advertising strategies to reach niche audiences.
The widespread adoption of connected TV and OTT platforms in China has also opened up yet another avenue to target the right audience. Being a front runner in ad tech, Hu says, Petal Ads has already integrated with connected TVs and OTT platforms in the country. “The platform can leverage by delivering ads to their inventory and at the same time deliver personalised ads that best suit the user based on their consumption behaviour, interest and demography. Contextual ad format ensures the content delivered to the audience is within the same category that they are viewing. For example, travel and tourism ads will be shown in categories such as travel documentary, adventure shows and destination guides. First-party data, coupled with personalised and contextual features, has created precision targeting like never before where our advertisers are rest assured that their ad spend is efficient.”
At the Arabian Travel Market, Petal Ads contributed to the sustainability agenda as well by demonstrating how it can reduce wastage and improve efficiency by leveraging its capabilities to match the demand with the right offering. “Our advertisers have seen click through rates, which is among the highest,” he says. “This drives more users further into the journey and with the right strategy, it leads to growth.”
As a platform, Petal Ads has also introduced optimised bidding models, which is algorithmic as well as incorporates machine learning. “This helps client’s marketing efforts to continue to optimise even after it has attained maximum scale from manual optimisation, which on the long run drive sustainable results challenging channel averages,” Hu adds.