V-Click taps lucrative Chinese market
VGI Global Media and China's iClick Interactive Asia Group have formed a joint venture, V-Click Technology Co, with the aim of using digital marketing for outbound tourism from the mainland.
The new venture will provide informative data for Thai operators to learn more about China's market and consumer behaviour.
Yan Lee, chief executive of V-Click and chief product officer for iClick Interactive Asia, said Thailand is the most preferred destination for Chinese with high spending at an average of 53,889 baht per tourist last year.
The lucrative market offers broad opportunities considering the fact that shopping is among the key reasons for Chinese to travel abroad.
Mr Lee described tourists from the mainland as breaking down into three types.
First are the new affluent from the first-tier cities such as Changsha, Wuxi, Taiyuan, Wuhan and Chengdu.
Second are the luxury overseas shoppers who are expected to account for 44% of overall luxury spending globally in 2025.
Third are post-1990s travellers who grew up with mobile devices and smartphones. This group is online-savvy and tends to feel the urge to travel abroad under the influence of social media and celebrities.
Mr Lee stressed that operators have to think big but also must break down the market into bite-sized pieces to find a target audience.
Moreover, embracing the digital ecosystem quickly and seeking the right market groups will be a plus for them.
"There are various brands in China, so the users have to pick the right partner and use the right platform to expand the marketing channels and a 580-billion-baht opportunity," Mr Lee said.
Kredrada Benjaathonsirikul, business development director at VGI Global Media, said the company provides marketing solutions and brand analysis for businesses, including advertisers that want to access the China market.
Efficient market penetration will benefit the company and result in building brand awareness of Thailand and tourism.
China is Thailand's biggest tourism market with some 10.5 million Chinese visiting Thailand last year.
In the first five months there were 4.8 million Chinese tourists, a 4.3% decline from the same period last year, generating 267.7 billion baht in revenue, down 3.5% year-on-year.
Ms Kredrada hopes the venture and the new platform can help build brand awareness via various popular Chinese platforms.
V-Click Technology has entered partnerships with several key digital players, including Tencent, the biggest IP provider in China, which can build awareness for Chinese tourists to visit Thailand.
Another partner is Ctrip, a provider of travel services, for the use of peer-to-peer conversation through Ctrip's WeGuide feature.
Then there's RED (or Xiaohongshu) for building trust from key opinion leaders in influencer marketing.
Lastly, Meituan-Dianping can be used to download discount coupons and for location-based travel reviews.