Here’s Jing Travel’s weekly guide to stories that give insight into Chinese travel trends and how they affect the industry’s main players.

Chinese outbound tourism has hit the off-peak season, which means that destinations are seeing far fewer Chinese arrivals than they did during a holiday-laden February. Destination marketing organizations are evaluating their campaigns and looking for ways to expand and improve them ahead of the peak summer holiday period while also trying to find ways to attract visitors during the slower months.

Ctrip Is Set to Bring More Chinese to Italy International, the largest online travel agency in China, signed an agreement with Italian National Tourist Board ENIT during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Italy last week. The agreement establishes greater cooperation between ENIT and the online travel platform to bring Chinese visitors to more destinations than just the major tourist hubs of Rome, Venice, and Florence. This cooperation will also help to promote Italian history, culture, fashion, and food to Chinese audiences.

Chinese Arrivals to South Korea Increase

The number of Chinese visitors to South Korea surged in February, mostly thanks to a peak travel season that included the Chinese New Year holiday. South Korea welcomed 453,379 tourists during the month, an increase of 31.3 percent from the same period in 2018. Chinese tourists accounted for 37.5 percent of all arrivals to the country month.

Can Mexico Attract Tourists Without Social Media?

Mexico has unveiled a new tourism campaign specifically targeting Chinese travelers interested in the country’s cultural and historic sites. And while the campaign’s focus builds on the trend of experiential travel, Visit Mexico, the nation’s official tourism organization, lacks a significant presence on China’s main social media sites Weibo and WeChat. Mexico currently attracts only about 100,000 visitors [A YEAR?] from China and improving upon that number shouldn’t be difficult with interest in Latin American travel growing in the country.

Tencent and Alibaba Back New Ride-hailing Business

China’s tech giants Tencent and Alibaba have already been active in backing various travel-related ventures, both domestically and internationally, and the two companies announced last week that they will help launch a new domestic ride-hailing operation called T3. The total investment in the company, which is set to compete with market leader Didi Chuxing, is $1.45 billion. The formation of the company between the private tech companies and state-owned automakers likely means that it will receive official government backing as well.

Chinese Tourists Enjoy Tunisia’s Hospitality   

Tunisia and other countries in northern Africa have seen significant increases in Chinese arrivals over the last year. This doesn’t mean that tourists haven’t faced challenges when navigating the country, particularly during protests or strikes. But many tourists have shared their positive experiences in Tunisia, specifically noting the kindness of locals in offering assistance when needed, proving that word-of-mouth marketing still exists in the tourism industry.