Greater China to overtake UK visits to Canada in 2017

Year-to-Year Jan-Nov2016 change in Overnight Trips to Canada744x400px

Synopsis:  China should become the #1 source of overseas travellers to Canada by 2018. In the meantime, Greater China should be overtaking UK visits to Canada. With China fast becoming the #1 source of world tourism, growth from Northeast Asia is now key to Canada’s Travel & Hospitality industry. The author explains why and concludes on the importance of raising awareness and to understand travel intentions.

The stellar performance of Northeast Asia is driven by its three main markets: China, Japan and South Korea, the latter a country whose rate of increase for overnight arrivals in the last two years led among Canada’s eleven major international markets: the US, France, Germany, UK, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Mexico.

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Over this decade, visits from those three Northeast Asian countries continue to grow twice as fast as the top three markets from Europe (the UK, France and Germany). That is in terms of year-to-year change in overnight trips to Canada, as the diagram above shows from a report for Jan. to Nov. 2016 by Destination Canada.

“China represents the largest international “long -haul” market in the world.”

A global digital market researcher who specializes in North American Education and Tourism industries engaged with Northeast Asian markets, Mr. Bonin* projects for 2017:

  • For the first time, travellers from what is culturally defined as the Greater China Region (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) are likely to have the largest number of overnight arrivals to Canada from oversea. Until now, the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) held that #1 position.
  • Overnight arrivals to Canada from China should reach 750,000 in 2017, an increase of 25% over 2016. This is a base scenario likely to happen with more direct flights from Chinese cities just being added recently. It could even be higher given the celebrations in 2017: Canada’s 150th anniversary of the creation of the British North American Act in 1867; also the 375th anniversary of the foundation of Montréal, a city anticipating 110,000 Chinese tourists, a 30% increase over 2016.

In the first eleven months of 2016, over 575,000 Chinese travellers had explored Canada, up 24% from same period in the previous year. (Source: Destination Canada)

The importance of raising awareness and to understand Chinese’s travel intentions

“Canada’s offer fits well with the emerging trend in China for independent travel, off the beaten track, and an experience quite different from the traditional groups tours which many Chinese travellers have enjoyed in the past. Beautiful scenery is the main product interest, and an attribute that Canada is well-placed to provide.”

…The challenge is raising awareness of this fact – Chinese travellers are simply not familiar with what Canada can offer.

“…This presents a great opportunity for Canada, given the fact that awareness is somewhat easier to attack than preference over competing destinations. Marketing efforts should be focused on the very early stages of the path-to-purchase”. (quoted as reported on page 5 from Global Tourism Watch 2014 China Summary Report published by Destination Canada).

That is in reference to the the A.I.D.A. formula of events to the buying process. For more on best practices to engage online early on with the outbound Travel and Study markets and prospects of Northeast Asian origin, the most dynamic in the world, one can access a related slide presentation by Mr. Bonin* with detailed notes through this link: TEN TIPS TO BE FOUND EARLY ONLINE IN JAPANESE, CHINESE AND KOREAN.

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See Michel Bonin’s publications in a series on Best Practices to be found online in Chinese, Japanese and Korean available through his website and his posts published on LinkedIn Pulse.

Tagged in: Northeast Asiatourism marketingdigital marketingJapanChinaSouth Korea, Canada, Greater China, international travel to Canada, Canadian tourism, Travel Hospitality Industry

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Model of best school directories in Northeast Asian languages

chinese_korean_japanese-faces-from-dienekes-anthropology-blog-with-canadajournal-logo

SYNOPSIS: To reach and attract international students, educational institutions from North America ought to use wikipedia-type platforms hosting third-party directories online like the ones published in Northeast Asian languages by Japan Advertising Ltd (SchoolsUSA.net and CanadaJournal.com). Schools that list in those directories have learned over the years that the basic challenge and opportunity is to be found early online by unique users. Rather than first focusing on a narrow referral marketing tactic to generate a maximum of applications, a broader strategy of reaching potential registrants requires to be associated with language-primary and geo-specific content that is trustworthy with strong branding and relevant to each student’s intent. This is crucial to schools before they attempt the final challenge of attracting a predictive number of inbound registrations toward the end of a long buying process.

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THE COMPLEX SURFING BY NORTHEAST ASIANS PLANNING TO STUDY IN NORTH AMERICA

Unique and largely misunderstood is the online behavior profile of millions of Northeast Asians each year who browse with the intent to study oversea, among the most sought after by American and Canadian educational institutions. See the article by the author For a better Understanding of Student Prospects’ Journey in Japanese/Chinese/Korean Beyond Search Engine Analytics published on LinkedIn Pulse.

A wide array of sophisticated digital tools available in Japanese, Chinese and Korean make it possible for potential students to go through a prolonged time frame, often beyond one year, planning their future studies in North America. However, they usually have to tackle a more complex process than those of anglo-saxon origin or closer culturally and linguistically to european traditions. The latter search in Western languages like Spanish, German, French, etc. that use the Roman (Latin) alphabet, effortlessly accessing online content with characters and symbols similar to English (often their second language already) and most importantly that originates or is curated in English. Not so for Northeast Asians as they choose to surf the web 87% to 92% of the time in a language other than English.

THE EARLY PREDICTIVE MODEL APPLIED TO JAPAN ADVERTISING LTD’S DIRECTORIES

Applied for unique users* of the directory, indicating projected leads** is a method for choosing predictable metrics meaningful in marketing to future international students early on their search online. Such forecast can drive performance by comparing it to the marketing goals of new international student intakes. Made available to each school hosted on the directory, the data allows to “project a metric that comes earlier in the purchase cycle (before the desire to register has been raised), such as web traffic (unique users) (and) customer engagement (click-through**therefore)“forecasting sales opportunities before applying the “funnel” metrics that occur (at the later stage of the adoption process)… (It can then be combined by each school with) “…using historical conversion rates and predictive lead scoring to develop forecasting models”. (Italics are by the author Mr. Bonin; quotes are from 3 Steps to Successfully Forecast Marketing Metrics By Jim Lenskold).

School directories optimized and published by Japan Advertising Ltd provide choices to student prospects with a variety of needs. It uses a well proven listing and advertising method currently favored by over 175 North American schools (many hosted since first created in 1999 in Canada and since 2006 in the United States). Annual fees range from $399 to $720 (for listing under one school category) and from $920 to $2,560 to host a display banner***, a fixed-cost variation of the ‘Pay-per-‘000s Impressions’  model, avoiding the ‘Pay-per-Click’ (PPC) cost model often overbid when not abused particularly in Northeast Asia. See by the author Sponsored links ineffective in China/Japan/South Korea.

The strategy of anticipating future leads (ie. “projected leads**” as defined and applied into the Japan Advertising Ltd’s model) looks at enrollment results including KPI through a broader definition of the lead generation funnel. Lead Attribution Models, Last-Click Measurement and Multi-Channel Funnels reporting through Search Analytics play less of a role here in predicting success (like driving conversions toward a school) when engaging with prospects traced digitally through a complex conversion path. Of course, this should not prevent the same schools to generate immediately retrievable leads at a more advanced stage of the buying process; that is when more targeted groups of prospects have already indicated a Desire and are now willing to take Action). That is in reference to the A.I.D.A. adoption process.

For further context applicable to international student recruitment, see this article published on LinkedIn Pulse by Mr. Michel Bonin, a Global Digital Marketing Researcher specialized in Northeast Asian markets: 10 Tips for Better Performance Metrics of US Schools in Northeast Asian Languages. How to be found early through optimized hosted school landing pages

UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION OF SchoolsUSA.net

The SchoolsUSA.net directory specializes in being found early in Northeast Asian languages while performing like a wikipedia-type of resource. That is before and while students and their families start to engage with anywhere between dozens and over a hundred digital sources until some of them are finally able to register and arrive at their destination to attend a particular educational institution located in the United States.

Educational institutions listed or placing their display banner on its directory pages published since 2006 by Japan Advertising Ltd benefit in being found first online through a search association of keywords with higher scores that recognize for instance listed Ivy league institutions on the East Coast like Yale, Hartford and others or the network of institutions like the University of California on the West Coast. A presence on the SchoolsUSA.net directory helps all the educational institutions as a group (including language schools, large and small) in their broader digital marketing strategy geared at maximizing projected leads** through a very large funnel for which any individual school alone can have very little control, never mind managing the click-through** early on the buying process.

Other complementary models espouse an inbound digital marketing strategy that help refer pre-qualified and sometimes even ‘hot leads’. They can be best generated later through third-party directories and SEO-oriented service providers offering a fee-for-referral, closer to the “Pay-Per-Click” cost model used on platforms like Baidu in Chinese, Yahoo Japan and Google in Japanese, Daum in Korean etc.)

Rather than tracking qualified leads for a school (or school agent) in-house sales team to close, SchoolsUSA.net’s predictive model generates:

  • in 2016 an estimated 25,000 projected leads** from over 500,000 annual unique visits* through 1.3 million page views (or page impressions) from prospects that search using “Schools”, “USA” and “America” as primary keywords on the top seven search engines used in Japanese, Chinese and/or Korean. Just over half of this annual traffic goes on all the alphabetical directory listing pages (Rolodex) and on the individually hosted schools’ Mini-Web (landing) Pages, with the rest going on the three Home Pages that reproduce the US States Map respectively in Japanese, in Simplified Chinese and in Korean;
  • further online browsing content about specific schools listed, usually on dozens (and increasingly over a hundred in many cases) of digital platforms including those now nested on the “cloud”;
  • bookmarking of the listed schools’ Mini-Web (landing) Pages for future reference during the long buying process;
  • while delivering competitive equivalent “cost-per-thousand” unique visits* using an organically optimized platform accessed through a fixed annual fee whose efficiency can be measured in terms of the “thousand unique visits” that the platform attracts each year.

FOOTNOTES

* Unique users are tracked/reported as an actual aggregate from year to year of each of the over 400 pages of the North American school directories published by Japan Advertising Ltd in Japanese, and Chinese as well as in Korean through partner sites. Unique visits for each educational institution hosted are an estimate. Unique visits are totalled from all of the two and up to nine different alphabetical directory listing pages (Rolodex url) that a school can choose to be listed plus from its individually hosted Mini-Web (landing) Page. More specifically to arrive at an estimate of each school’s directory listing,

  • Unique visits are tallied for pages by specific State (or Province) section and by Category (“Universities & Colleges”, “Language Schools”, “Vocational Schools” and “High Schools”) as well as of each of the three language versions an individual school is listed.
  • The total unique visits (traffic figures) of the (Rolodex url) pages are then each divided by the number of actual schools whose listing appears on those pages.
  • Then is added the number of unique visits also tallied on an individual school’s Mini-Web (landing) Page that is hosted in any of the three language versions.

For display banners***, unique visits are totalled from all the alphabetical directory listing pages (Rolodex url) and also from the (most coveted) Home Page in the language(s) the school chooses its banner to be hosted.  Total is then divided by the number of schools whose banner is hosted on each of those pages.

Note: If a visitor views the same url page more than once in any given month, visit counts as only ONE unique visit for that month.

** Projected leads are derived from tracking click-through. Using historical data gathered from the North American web publications of Japan Advertising Ltd since 1999, click-through on the posted links (websites and email addresses) of the schools listed on its American and Canadian directories are aggregated (but not tracked/reported for individual schools). When totalling allclick-through divided by the number of active listings posted on each given url page of the directory in any given year, the aggregate data shows about five percent of unique visits recorded on an average listing and its hosted Mini-Web (landing) Page generate click-through. This is how projected leads are assigned to each specific establishment hosted on a directory.

*** Each display banner is clicked on average by 0.2% of the annual unique visitors. In the case of the pages of SchoolsUSA.net, it generates in 2016 for an advertiser over 1,000 projected leads from an annual banner presence in all three languages (Japanese, Chinese and Korean).

  • Moreover because of its unique visual impact on each page viewed, it is estimated a display banner generates awareness on average between twice(for a regular-size banner) and three times (for a panoramic-size banner)greater than a directory listing.
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CHINA, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA CATCHING UP WITH THE UK, FRANCE AND GERMANY

Looking at #Canada as a barometer, with flights capacity scheduled to triple in 2014, visits from Japan to Canada should further shift the overall international scene for North American #SEOs with travel and education clients. Year-to-date September 2013, overall arrivals from Canadian Tourism Commission’s Emerging and Transition markets grew 8.4% compared with last year. Among the best performers were China (+24.3%), Taiwan (+18.4%), Hong Kong (+8.1%) and South Korea (+4.9%). Whereas for the first nine months of 2013, arrivals from Western Europe , namely Germany (-2.2%), the UK (-1.2%), Spain (-3.5%) and Italy (-2%), remained below their 2012 levels, while France (+0.3%) came out barely ahead.
(Source: #StatisticsCanada and #CTC Infographic Tourism Snapshot, September 2013, @https://en-corporate.canada.travel/infographic/september-infographic)
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Review of my last concert at Montreal International Jazz Festival 34th Edition

From FELLINI’S WALTZ (see video clip) to film music themes like the masterpiece composed by Nino Rota for Fellini’s LA STRADA with my favorite piano medley improvs on Scarlatti’s SONATAS in between arranged by ENRICO PIERANUNZI… this has been by far the most satisfying program since first invited by the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.
For this 34th Edition of the Festival international de jazz de Montréal, I wanted to focus one more time on Italy’s ‘incontournables’ (french for ‘top favorites’) including on this occasion, Enrico Pieranunzi. His most notorious arrangement for piano was perhaps the music scored by Enrico Morricone for CINEMA PARADISO, the 1988’s Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Film. The 5th ‘salle’, the smallest venue in the city’s magnificient Place des Arts, was perfect as the intimate setting required for such solo piano pieces.

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Among the Top 13 on the prestigious World News Jazz Classics Playlist from 2011 to 2013, view highlights of Monsieur Bonin’s piano solo performance originally recorded in front of a live audience in Vancouver, Canada. The video features excerpts from four jazz classics: Angel Eyes, Blue Bossa, Chega de Saudade (No More Blues) and Blue Daniel.  To purchase full album available for download at $9.95 (CAN) or CD at $14.95 (CAN) and sample or purchase individual music tracks, go to www.pianoreflexions.com . Also see the album highlights streamed in HD on YouTube at http://youtu.be/dTFOq7zZiD8

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Montreal tourism may suffer as the FIJM reaches a plateau

Montreal International Jazz Festival

Michel Bonin is a consultant in international marketing and communication and a pianist

Michel Bonin is a consultant in international marketing and communication and a pianist

The prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival may be reaching a plateau in terms of the number of visitors it can accommodate at its ticketed events. That brings good news and bad news to any festival. In the case of Montreal, it could bring less oversea tourists.

For international publications, this can mean their accredited journalists being short-changed to attend the annual event. That is based on my recent experience at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal after covering inside concerts for most of the past 15 years on behalf of web publishers in Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

“Do you aim to make the festival even bigger or has it reached a plateau?
I don’t think it can get much bigger. At some point you start to cannibalize yourself.”
(Quoted from Mr. André Ménard, co-founder of the Montreal Jazz Festival and artistic director in “The Montreal International Jazz Festival Looks to the Future” published in the online magazine SPEAKEASY on 9 July 2013 and reproduced in the Wall Street Journal on 15 July, 2013)

Up to a few years ago (before it reached its current plateau), the organizers provided from 8 to 12 comp tickets, on average, for journalists covering a particular edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival at their indoor venues. However, niche publications I represent catering to long-haul tourist travelers from Northeast Asia have been down lately to a meager 4 to 6 comp tickets (if lucky) to cover the recent ten-day event. As a consequence, unless the comp ticket policy gets more accommodating for journalists planning to cover future editions of the Montreal Jazz Festival, foreign music critics and tourism journalists attending those concerts will need to re-align their publishers’ priorities reaching instead the other high-profile Monterey jazz and Newport jazz festivals in North America. Those two represent tourist destinations that continue to thrive for world jazz enthusiasts.
See an English translation of one of my omnibus reviews in a recent year of the Montreal Jazz Festival published in Northeast Asian languages

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Montreal tourism to suffer as the FIJM reaches a plateau

Montreal International Jazz Festival

Michel Bonin is a consultant in international marketing and communication and a pianist

Michel Bonin is a consultant in international marketing and communication and a pianist

The prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival may be reaching a plateau in terms of the number of visitors it can accommodate at its ticketed events. That brings good news and bad news to any festival. In the case of Montreal, it could bring less oversea tourists.

For international publications, this can mean their accredited journalists being short-changed to attend the annual event. That is based on my recent experience at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal after covering inside concerts for most of the past 15 years on behalf of web publishers in Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

“Do you aim to make the festival even bigger or has it reached a plateau?
I don’t think it can get much bigger. At some point you start to cannibalize yourself.”
(Quoted from Mr. André Ménard, co-founder of the Montreal Jazz Festival and artistic director in “The Montreal International Jazz Festival Looks to the Future” published in the online magazine SPEAKEASY on 9 July 2013 and reproduced in the Wall Street Journal on 15 July, 2013)

Up to a few years ago (before it reached its current plateau), the organizers provided from 8 to 12 comp tickets, on average, for journalists covering a particular edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival at their indoor venues. However, niche publications I represent catering to long-haul tourist travelers from Northeast Asia have been down lately to a meager 4 to 6 comp tickets (if lucky) to cover the recent ten-day event. As a consequence, unless the comp ticket policy gets more accommodating for journalists planning to cover future editions of the Montreal Jazz Festival, foreign music critics and tourism journalists attending those concerts will need to re-align their publishers’ priorities reaching instead the other high-profile Monterey jazz and Newport jazz festivals in North America. Those two represent tourist destinations that continue to thrive for world jazz enthusiasts.
See an English translation of one of my omnibus reviews in a recent year of the Montreal Jazz Festival published in Northeast Asian languages

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