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Apex Hotels have recently translated their website into Chinese tapping into one of the key emerging markets. Since translating the website it has seen an increase in Chinese web traffic by 159% and revenue growth by 676%.
Outbound travel from China has been growing quickly over the years since Britain has been granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) in 2005. This allows Britain to receive visitors with a visa from mainland China who are on a leisure holiday. Figures have doubled since Britain was granted ADS and it has become the 6th largest market in the World in terms of spend on international travel. Visit Scotland have reported that Chinese tourism contributes to the Scottish economy an average of £7m in addition to £4m from Hong Kong.
Apex Hotels quickly recognised that China is a lucrative market for them. Their research on web traffic showed nearly a 50% growth over the year 2010/2011 coming from the Chinese market, compared with a site average traffic growth during this time of 32%.
Research also showed that the average transaction value of Chinese business was 55% higher than that of the average online transaction value.
In addition to this the Chinese traveller stays for longer, travels as part of a group and is therefore of considerable value to Apex Hotels.
From looking at their research, the decision to provide translated content for Chinese visitors to the website was a no brainer for Apex and they set to work on a two fold approach, firstly translating to make the site easier to use for Chinese visitors and secondly for search engine optimisation gains with Google.cn and Baidu which is China’s largest search engine.
Sam Weston, Apex Hotels E-Marketing Manager says 'The intention to translate was to help build rapport with our Chinese guests and make the booking of an Apex Hotel a simpler and more enjoyable affair, whilst benefitting from increased organic traffic from optimised content from the likes of Google.cn and Baidu.com'.
Apex Hotels translated their website and launched the Chinese content on 25th February 2011.
So far results are impressive and within 2 months of the launch Apex has seen year on year traffic growth of 159% and revenue growth of 676%.
Apex Hotels spent under £300 to translate their website and showed a return of £5.7k in 2 months compared to £745 for the same period in 2010 showing that it was money well spent.
Looking to the future, Apex Hotels are in the process of translating their booking engine into Chinese plus brochures, welcome letters and menus to make visitors feel as welcome as possible. They also have plans to translate into other emerging markets.