Chinese travelers are heading out to international destinations in droves, and they are quickly earning the reputation of being one of the most powerful traveler segments in the tourism market.

These tech-savvy travelers are highly interested in mobile search and booking, and they don’t have a lot of patience for hotels and activity providers who don’t live up to their standards.

For instance, they want the websites they are browsing to load within 4.8 seconds (33.1 seconds is the actual average) – and nearly 85% of European websites fail to load within that time frame.

The speed of your small hotel’s website is an important factor in search engine optimisation (SEO). The major search engines have always considered this to be a necessary component of what’s deemed as a ‘good’ website. This is because it’s what people want.

A recent study by CDNetworks found that 60% of European websites take 5 times longer to load for users in China, and it’s not even the fault of the website providers.

It’s the result of the ‘Golden Shield’, or the intense firewall that was implemented by the Chinese government.

This firewall actively:

  • Blocks content from Chinese users
  • Prevents users in China from accessing specific domain names
  • Impacts the results of web searches

Ultimately, this results in extremely slow load times.

Despite the fact that Chinese travelers know about the firewall and understand its impact on their search results, 50% believe that European brands can and should overcome those challenges.

So, if your hotel website has a slow site speed in China, it’s having a big impact on your brand. Here’s how:

  • It damages your reputation. When your site is slow to load, Chinese consumers assume that you don’t take your product seriously. They feel that you are unreliable, and are not going to be likely to book a room at your property. Nearly 54% of Chinese users reported that they would not visit a website that performs poorly again.
  • It directly impacts your revenue. If your site doesn’t load within those few quick seconds, Chinese travelers are just going to move onto another website that better meets their needs. They typically give up after 24 seconds. And 69% of them will not be recommending your small hotel to their friends or family members, who are more than likely planning a trip of their own.

So, how can you combat slow site speeds and overcome these challenges?

You need to partner with the major Chinese online travel agents (OTAs), such as Ctrip.

These OTAs will provide you with a direct link to Chinese consumers, and the OTA results will load as quickly as Chinese consumers prefer.

The best way to connect with these powerful OTAs in China is through a channel manager, like the one provided by Little Hotelier’s all-in-one solution.

Many small hotels are worried they won’t be able to manage more channels, but this is where an online reservation system comes in. Using a pooled inventory model, a modern system like Little Hotelier can reduce your chances of being double-booked, but you sell as many rooms as possible, through as many booking sites as possible.

See how it works with our on-demand demo videos.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).