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4 marketing tips you need to build a successful Lunar New Year campaign

The Bókun Team • January 18, 2023

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Gong Xi Fa Cai! The year of the rabbit is upon us!

Gong Xi Fa Cai or “Wish you enlarge your wealth” is a common saying used over the Chinese New Year to celebrate the beginning of the new year. This holiday is one of the biggest celebrations across Asia and represents new beginnings and the renewal of good health, happiness, and fortune.

 

What is the Lunar New Year?

The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February, but preparations begin about a week prior to the Lunar New Year and the festivities last until the Lantern Festival.

Several myths and customs surround the Chinese New Year, like gift giving, specific clothes and dishes. Red envelopes with gifts of money are given to friends, family members, coworkers, and employers in the weeks after the Lunar New Year. It’s a good omen for the coming year and frequently used to raise money for exciting new adventures.

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The Asian outbound tourism market is powerful, and recovering well with more travellers each passing year. It is well known that the Asian travellers love to explore and immerse themselves in new cultures and experiences. They are largely considered to be big fans of luxury-type holidays and so we recommend investing in a Lunar New Year marketing campaign to help you attract their interest and earn their loyalty.

The numbers don’t lie

As of this year, the volume of experiences and activities sold during the Chinese New Year holiday has seen an increase of 45% compared to the same period last year, with an average spending of 25% higher than 2021 . Also, this year sees a considerable increase in the product booking volume for long-distance accounting for more than 70% of the total booking volume of travel products booked during the Lunar New Year.

With China relaxing the COVID restrictions, means that 2023 is the first year since the outbreak with travellers looking at celebrating the Chinese New Year outside of their hometowns. The top 10 popular tourist cities during Chinese New Year 2023 are Shanghai, Beijing, Sanya, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Kunming, Hangzhou, Chongqing and Haikou.

The tradition of the Red Envelope

The Chinese New Year Red Envelope is a traditional gift during the Lunar New Year and it usually inspires the Asian travellers to use this gift of money to travel. In the weeks following the Lunar New Year, the Red Envelopes are exchanged between friends and family members and they are considered a sign of luck for the new year, often used for new adventures.

The tradition of the Red Envelope can help you as a tour operator to easily attach promotional campaigns to this holiday and look into promoting gift cards, vouchers or discounts. Your tour business doesn’t have to be located in a country or community that celebrates the Lunar New Year to build a marketing campaign for this particular holiday.

Potential guests may be searching for new ideas and plans for upcoming travel with their loved ones. Show you wish your travellers good fortune or happiness, wealth and celebrate the new year by creating a promotional campaign to attract Asian tourists.

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First things first, make sure you have availability for the new year, or otherwise all those new customers won’t be able to book. Here’s where a booking system like Bókun comes in handy.

Now let’s dive into how to effectively build a Lunar New Year campaign:

Discounts and promo codes

You will want to create a special promotion for the festivities that can be launched after the date of the actual Lunar New Year. Why? Because the exchanges of the Red Envelopes begin at that time.

Build your content

Build a content strategy that is impactful, relevant and respectful to the Lunar New Year. Do your research ahead of time and start planning your content too. Focus on creating accurate and useful content relating to the Lunar New Year.

Don’t forget about the design element of your content and campaign. You can use tools like Canva to easily create email templates, social media posts or even videos. Remember to incorporate your branding and CTAs into your content.

Start promoting your campaign

Run omni-channel campaigns to reach as many travellers as possible. Whether you’re promoting your offers through an email campaign, or on your blog or even on your social platforms, make sure you’re highlighting your offers.

Remember the goal for your marketing strategy over Lunar New Year is about engagement. If you do a good job staying top of mind, once the festivities are over or even when the following year comes around, your brand will be top of mind.

Don’t forget about your website

Create a banner or pop up to promote your new discounts and promotions to your customers and celebrate the year with them. Go all out and create a specific customised widgets only for the occasion! You can change the colours of the widgets and add further translations to your products to make them accessible to more markets.

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