Researching the Brighton Brand with the Chinese Travel Trade

Research: Travel trade survey for VisitBrighton

We started working with the team at VisitBrighton in early 2016, and very quickly came to realise that the brand awareness of the city of Brighton and Hove was very low in China. We needed a way to introduce the city to Chinese tour operators, find out what they already knew, and take their advice on what challenges Brighton is facing in the Chinese travel market.

With nearly 80% of Chinese visitors to the UK booking via the travel trade, the views of our tour operator colleagues are extremely helpful when we are planning our strategy to support our clients’ brands, particularly where the brand has yet to gain traction in China.

Our survey for Brighton involved our team in Beijing calling around 30 tour operator contacts to ask them questions about brand awareness, product knowledge, inclusion in itineraries, and customer opportunities. It also opened the door for VisitBrighton, offering a ‘soft’ collaborative introduction to show the Chinese travel trade that Brighton is committed to the Chinese market, and to ask for their assistance in turning the city’s commitment into sales results. This collaborative approach is a key part of Chinese business culture, something very well understood by our team of Chinese nationals in Beijing.

Results

The responses from our survey delivered useful feedback for VisitBrighton and helped formulate our strategy for the next 12 months’ promotion of the city in China.