by Weber Shandwick
April 22nd, 2015

As China’s economy continues to evolve, tourism is becoming increasingly important as a driver of growth. With this in mind, Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications agencies with offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, undertook an extensive review of U.S. consumer interest in the country. The objectives of the survey were to understand how U.S. travelers search to discover content about China, what they are looking for, and when they are searching.

A keyword and search analysis through Linkdex and category social listening with Brandwatch were used to determine key drivers of U.S. traveler interest and perceptions of the country. The analysis shed light on the visibility and relative performance of top cities across China in terms of search volume and value.

The findings reveal key insights that may help guide local China authorities on key opportunities and success factors in promoting their city brands internationally.

Key findings include:

  • ??The ten Chinese cities searched most frequently by American travelers are: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Suzhou, Qingdao
  • Most visited websites by U.S. travelers for information about China include:?history.com,?UNESCO.org, Expedia, Kayak,and Yelp and Urban Spoon
  • U.S. travelers show a preference for global hotel brands in their searches
  • Seasonal spikes occur for travel research in February and March, with increased searches for intended travel in October

This survey was an important part of the comprehensive China City Brand Index research initiated by City Branding Think-tank, a professional city branding & marketing organization jointly established by Weber Shandwick and Communications University of China (CUC) in 2013. With the clear aim of raising the awareness and influence of China cities in their target markets all over the world, City Branding Think-tank assembles top academia and industry talents to create a systemic approach of researching and communicating city brands internationally.