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New Online Channel Many Overseas Tourism Boards use WeChat Mini Programs for Trade Marketing

November 6, 2020 Headline News No Comments

The epidemic has accelerated the digitalization and stimulated an upsurge of different kind of online initiatives. Among those, mini programs grow rapidly in China market and have become one of daily essential tools.

Application of Mini Programs in the Tourism Industry

Mini program is an application that doesn’t need to be downloaded or installed to be used.
Users just scan or search to open the mini programs. They ‘use it then go,’ users don’t need to worry installing too many apps and taking up too much phone’s storage. Many features could be integrated to mini program to allow users to shop, learn, socialize, entertained and make their travel plans.
In China, WeChat mini programs is the most popular and mature application among others.
According to QuestMobile’s report, till June 2020, the number of users using the WeChat Mini Program has reached 830 million per month, an increase of 11.6% compared to last year. With increasing user stickiness active days per user increased by 23.8% year-on-year.

(Source:QuestMobile, Translated by: Travel Link Marketing)

The report also showed that til June 2020, among platforms such as WeChat, Alipay and Baidu, mini programs in the travel service category accounts for 2%, 4%, and 6% of the total number of mini programs respectively.

WeChat Mini Programs as a New B2B Marketing Tools

With mini programs have been gaining steam in the makret, many brands are using them to achieve better sales and marketing results. There are three main types of of mini programs under tourism services category.

The first type is mini programs developed by travel companies (such as OTAs, hotels, scenic spots). This type of mini program is most commonly seen. Consumers could book, purchase their travel products easily and even use mini programs to plan for their trips.

Ctrip Mini Program

The second type of mini programs are those developed by tourism board for consumers. People could find all all kinds of destination information such as transportation, attractions and some even come with VR and 360 tours to engage with consumers with virutal travel experience.

Mini Program of Visit Denmark

The third type is mini programs developed by tourism board for travel trade professionals. These mini programs usually come with media assets, training courses and practical information which to help users to familiarize with the destination and develop travel products. This kind of mini programs are becoming popular nowadays.

WeChat is the most commonly used communication and transaction tool for Chinese travel trade professionals. As the industry is now gradually moving from offline to online, many industry players are using WeChat Mini Program to help them to remain competitive in complex, ever-changing market in the following aspects:

1) Destination Knowledge Bank
WeChat Mini Program provides comprehensive destination knowledge bank. It allows travel professionals to easily access destinations’ multimedia assets such as photos, text, videos and usually come with powerful search, sorting and filtering features as well as functions making users to store and manage these digital assets easier.

Visit Finland’s WeChat Mini Program for Travel Trade (B2B)

2) Online Destination Training
Live streaming class could be conducted via WeChat mini program. And, some tourism boards are developing online training course on WeChat mini program, which allows travel trade professionals to access and complete the traning anytime, anywhere.

Visit Portugal’s WeChat Mini Program for Travel Trade (B2B)

WeChat has become an effective channel for content distribution. With many travel trade professional are using WeChat for daily communications, the spread of information is much more efficient than traditional channels such as newspapers and media sites. While WeChat Official Account serves as a channel for releasing updates, WeChat Mini Programs serve as a platform for interacting with users.

How to design a great Mini Program for Tourism Industry?

As more and more tourism boards have decided to develop their own mini programs, how to make your mini program to stand out from the others? Travel Link has worked with several tourism boards on WeChat Mini Program development and concluded four critical success factors:

1) Eye-catching Visual Design
Simple and clear design can impress users. Taking the mini program of visit Estonia as an example, the function icons are consistent with visit Estonia’s brand and logo color. With this user-friendly design, people will easily associate to the brand when they see the color.

2) Page Organization
In addition to an eye-catching visual design, a user-friendly interface and layout are also needed. It is important to plan and organize the contents well before developing the program.

Taking Mini program of Visit Finland as an example, users could access the information they need instantly with clear classification, sorting, search, and filtering tools on the “Attractions” page.

3) Content Maintenance
WeChat Mini Program’s content maintenance is important to make the APP function smoothly and to ensure it’s success. Users feel satisfied if the content is updated appropriately. Also, copyright management is another issues concerned by most tourism boards.
Dubai Tourism’s WeChat Mini Program has adopted a real-time content updating page where travel trade professionals could learn the latest updates on local travel industry.

4) Incentivize Usage

Many tourism boards incorporated incentive mechanism into WeChat Mini Programs such as providing reward points accumulation and redemption program and digital certificate to incentivize users to login WeChat Mini Programs, participate and share the news/content.

In 2020, when traditional offline activities such as roadshows and training sessions are restricted, it would be hard for overseas tourism boards to have face-to-face communication with the Chinese tourism industry. Many tourism bureaus have chosen to “digitize” these activities online. Through the powerful functions, WeChat Mini Programs are serving as the bridge to connect online users and offline scenarios.


Source : TLD Media

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