You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Young and independent travelers’ category.

North Queensland Tourism picks Canto-pop stars to promote the region’s beauty to Australia’s fastest-growing tourist market

The Twins pop stars, Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung

The Twins will appear in social media and TV campaigns promoting the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns. The stars have been filmed in music videos and photos at various tourist destinations.

“The Twins have already come over to Cairns to shoot their new music videos and have done photo shoots for their online photo album,” said Tang.“There will be a TV program that will debut the girls’experience in the region as they work on their videos.”

“They will also give their fans updates on China’s Twitter site Weibo to promote their experiences in the Great Barrier Reef region.”

On May 18, the Twins officially launched their new music videos and promote their 10th anniversary via video conference from Shenzhen, China.

[tweetmeme source=”astronauttravel” only_single=false]



Since the rise of Facebook and Twitter, leveraging the PR potential of social networking sites has become the next big thing in marketing. A number of brands are doing impressive work with establishing customer relationships, while keeping their ears on the ground about what the public thinks of them. This approach is especially valid in China, arguably more than anywhere else, where there is a sweeping trend for online users to engage in social networking activities.

The tourism industry is no less actively involved, energetically engaging in social network promotion and advertising. While some of this activity, due to sheer volume if nothing else, undoubtedly hits the mark, valid questions arise about the depth of impact of much of these efforts. There is solid ground to predict that social networking is not just a trend but will become an even bigger industry in the future, especially when more and more successful models appear, but there are much stronger forces on the Internet working in tandem with SNS (social networking sites) to influence consumer behavior.

All too often, content published by online PR efforts are in stark contrast to what Chinese netizens find when they look for supporting information about a destination. Taking a real example to illustrate, one destination has a beautiful website and adequate online social network exposure, but gets hammered by a Baidu search when a top query result describes visa procedures as a nightmare. Not only does sentiment differ between the two spheres (official and informal sources of information), but so does exposure. In the case cited above, over a given time span, the official website and SNS are viewed by over 10,000 users, but this one negative blog alone was read by over 300,000 people.

The chart below gives the latest statistics showing how surfers retrieve information online.

As the trend watchers from Frog Design put it, “We are leaving the Information Age and entering the Recommendation Age.” Similarly, Chris Anderson, author of the highly acclaimed book The Long Tail, writes about “the power of collective intelligence,” in which tastemakers (ordinary people who are actually not thinking of themselves as giving recommendations) influence the opinions of millions by the way they create or spread messages.

In cyberspace, as in real life, when people talk about you they influence your reputation. What’s more, online there is plenty of chatter, not only about every destination, but also about airlines, hotel chains and other brands involved in the tourism industry. Whether you like it or not, your brand’s reputation is in the hands of others. So what can be done?

Many brands, even whole countries, have started madly posting as much positive information about themselves as possible. It is evident, upon reflection, that this approach is vulnerable to one or both of the following pitfalls: a. if cyberspace PR is not done professionally, the few hundred posts will vanish in the ocean of online content and b. if it is written like content by China’s so-called “water army” (masses of low paid writers that are generating thousands of posts, all positive but without substance, a day about their clients), the public easily detects the real sources, content is seen as mere propaganda, and PR efforts will backfire.

The only way to skillfully and effectively control your reputation is to do professional online reputation management. A professional approach allows you to connect with the online world and engage in the communications that are continually happening about you, even at this moment. This starts with permanently monitoring all new news and posts, and then becoming part of the conversation. When done professionally online reputation management works wonders. Our team at Astronaut continually monitors our clients’ reputations and identifies strategic points where we become involved. Rather than generating a mass of inflated commentary, we skillfully engage the online public, provide them authoritative information that they are looking for on a daily basis, and change opinions.

Evidence shows the significant and measurable results of online PR that is done right. The success of Astronaut’s online reputation management (ORM) program, for one, is clear by examining the following parameters:
a. Online attention. For a recent client, initially extremely low attention levels on the Chinese Internet began an immediate steady rise from the day that we launched our ORM campaign (the dot on the graph).
b. Top query results. Content originating from us showed up at the top of search engine query results (shown highlighted), one of the most influential forces shaping your reputation.
c. Replication. Conversations sparked by us (original content shown in top box) were picked up and reposted by other users, proving that, when done right, quality PR spreads freely and carries good sentiment with it.

Astronaut is the first company to offer online reputation management for the tourism industry on the Chinese Internet. If you would like to find out more, we invite you to get in touch with us.

Shopping in Japan picture source: Larry R. Lom

Japan has always been a hotspot tourist destination – with beautiful cherry blossoms, Mount Fiji looming on the horizon, tranquil Zen gardens, natural hot springs, and delicious seafood delicacies, people flock to Japan by the millions. This is also true for Chinese tourists, but not for the same reasons – Chinese are traveling to Japan to purchase, purchase, and purchase. The new generation of young Chinese white collar workers are looking to go to Japan to buy electronics and other products and is leaving the site seeing to the grandparents. The reason for the increase of shopping visits to Japan according to Zhang Qin, a Beijinger and seasoned shopper, is because of quality. Chinese are also wary of buying fakes instead of legitimized products in China. The increase of this new breed of Chinese tourists is warmly welcomed by Japan as they are relaxing their visa requirements for Chinese citizens. This news also brings Japanese retailers a sigh of relief, as Chinese who go to Japan put serious dents in their wallets. The value of transactions made on ATM withdrawals from Chinese debit cards, the amount increased from 2.7 billion yen in 2007 to 20 billion yen in 2009 – and there have been speculation that this number will quadruple in the next 2 years. The Chinese seem keen on spending all over the world,  from Europe to Japan –  there is no stopping the Chinese from saving the world’s otherwise stagnant economy.

While the lazy sun lingers ever so slightly above the strikingly blue waters, a velvety pink sunset paints the skies as you wiggle your toes on the sun-kissed soft white sand – Welcome to the Boracay Islands of the Philippines. Wish you were relaxing in the sun instead of reading this in your austere and monotonous office? Too bad you’re not Lilyan, a Shanghai native, who bought a boat along with her husband and moved to the Islands in pursuit of relaxation and sun. Both husband and wife were once power players on the Shanghai PR and media scene, but decided to leave it all behind when they vacationed on the islands – and with good reason; Boracay easily rivals the best sand beaches around the world with its sand so refined and white it is often endearingly called “milk powder sand”. Coming from the country that originated Confucianism, this “leaving it all behind” ideal is nearly unheard of in China, but with the rise of new age thinkers such as Lilyan, it is growing to be more and more common and with gleaming waters rivaling the blue skies, it’s easy to see why anyone would leave a concrete jungle for this paradise. Lilyan and her husband now reside in Boracay and offer tours on their boat, Mahal, for a two hour sunset excursion of the island. The island itself offers a variety of nautical adventures, from scuba diving and jet skiing, to sailing and wind surfing. There are now direct flights from Shanghai to Kalibo International Airports which mean just one short three hour flight for Chinese people looking for paradise.

Source: Shanghai Daily,,

picture source:

China outbound tweeds

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


Michael Kaltenhauser

Founder and director of Astronaut, a marketing agency based in Beijing which is specialized on promoting destinations to Chinese outbound tourists

Laura Hine

Online Communications Assistant at Astronaut