Interview to Lorenzo Palomares, CEO at ChineSpain
1. As a start-up company working exclusively to attract Chinese visitors into Europe, what influenced your decision to become an ETOA member?
During the last few years we have been lucky to attend, both in China and in Europe, different workshops organized by ETOA, where we have met several companies active in the Chinese market and we’ve also started working with some of them.
We believe that ETOA’s B2B workshops, as well as all the opportunities the association provides, have proved very useful to increase our network and our visibility in the industry.
Our decision to join ETOA was influenced by the fact that there aren’t many companies like us amongst their members, so we thought we could benefit from establishing synergies with other associates.
2. What unique solutions is your company offering to Chinese tour operators and Chinese visitors?
Our company started operating in 2015 and in these last five years we have been launching products in line with the market’s needs.
We work as a Chinese company (domain .cn, advertising in Baidu, official Wechat account, wechat and Alipay payments) but we have the added value of being Spanish, which implies a greater negotiation capacity and a better knowledge of local attractions. Our focus is on FITs travelling to Spain and nearby countries (Portugal, Italy and France), although we have also started to cater for groups and issuing agencies.
Tripmaker is our first product, a travel recommendations tool that allows tourists to make a personalized trip based on interests, budget and number of people. Our sales agent, combined with additional details provided by the customer, generates a personalized trip in less than 5 minutes; additional features include an automatic reservation system and an incident management tool.
After Tripmaker, we launched www.zhangshangxby.com, an ecommerce that allows Chinese tourists to order Ubers, book specific menus in restaurants or buy tickets for museums or attractions via mobile using Wechat or Alipay. This solution is unique in Spain and allows Chinese suppliers and customers to interact not only without speaking the same language but also without using the same communication channels.
Having this in mind, we decided to extend our offers to hotels, museums and restaurants with our white label solutions, creating ad hoc applications for our clients to allows them to interact with Chinese customers in a more efficient and direct way.
3. What are your business growth objectives and how do you think ETOA membership will help you to achieve them?
We believe that our five years’ experience in the industry has given us an insight in the market and has enabled us to simplify the access to the Chinese market for other companies by developing useful technological tools. For these reasons, we would like to show our services to other ETOA members and create new partnerships.