A sense of wonder is created in the first shots showing Lake Titicaca’s serene waters and Peru’s coastline under assault from Pacific breakers. “Feel the whistling of the wind and the silence of the air,” a husky voiceover declares in Mandarin, the camera cuts to swirling mists rising above Machu Picchu and the man continues, “that’s why I came here,” — we believe him.

This is the opening sequence for one of PromPeru’s slick and emotive tourism videos aimed at the capturing the imagination of the Chinese travel market. The campaign was recently chosen from a field of 120 organizations engaged with the world’s largest, and most lucrative, travel market to receive the 2019 Gold Award for marketing at the Chinese Tourist Welcome (CTW) Awards.

The awards have been staged by COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute in Shanghai since 2004 and PromPeru’s success shows the value of planning and investment by an organization that is doing far more than simply putting Peru on the map for adventurous Chinese tourists. For DMOs and cultural organizations looking to boost their Chinese visits, one thing is clear; working with a knowledgeable and creative agency is essential.

For the past several years, PromPeru has teamed up with Dragon Trail Interactive, a travel-centric digital marketing agency, and has focused on building awareness with Chinese Free Independent Travelers (FITs). This campaign enlisted the help of rapper Zhao Hong and Chinese photographer Ye Ziyi to help connect and create authenticity. The two KOLs toured the length of the country from the heights of the Inca Trail to the depths of ocean caves teeming with seabirds. Together they created promotional videos and a short TV series, “Uncover Peru”. To date, the 15 episodes have been watched more than 3.3 million times across Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo.

PromPeru’s has also created Chinese website, developed  a strong presence on Chinese social media channels, and opened a pop-up store on WeChat.

The South American country’s dedication to expanding the knowledge of Chinese travelers beyond Machu Picchu is already seeing results. The nearly 40,000 Chinese that visited in 2018 represented a 20 percent increase from the previous year. Given PromPeru’s creative and forward-thinking strategising, one can expect the country’s profile to continue growing in the mind of young Chinese travelers.

Edited by Richard Whiddington