SINGAPORE: Marketers in China and beyond are preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year, with several countries easing visa requirements in order to attract an influx of lucrative travellers.

Wego, the travel search website, noted that these included Indonesia, India and Thailand, but said that catering to specific interests as well would make Singapore and South Korea the top two destination choices for the Year of the Goat, which begins on February 19.

"Singapore has the attraction of great shopping and local language, and South Korea has aggressively marketed the 'Korea Grand Sales' shopping festival to fall during the Chinese New Year period," said James Huang, Wego market development manager for North Asia,.

"Along with the Chinese fascination with the country's local pop culture, South Korea is likely to be the destination of choice this year," he added.

Writing in Campaign Asia-Pacific, Chris Dobson, chairman of programmatic marketplace The Exchange Lab, offered some tips for travel and retail marketers at this time.

Programmatic marketing, he said, "creates infinite opportunities for brands to reach their customers" and suggested that destination-based targeting and seasonal re-targeting were tactics that worked well for travel clients.

He also highlighted the weeks leading up to the Chinese New Year as important for retailers, as consumers bought new clothes and household goods as well as gifts for relatives.

Dobson advised them to set up a basic framework combining a multi-platform digital strategy with data optimisation based on time-of-day targeting.

A greater level of sophistication could be achieved, he added, by introducing social synching – in which social content is taken in real time from brands and their ambassadors and streamed into banner ads.

Jing Daily noted that Chinese New Year promotions could have lasting benefits for international luxury retailers, an example being the launch of Alipay's ePass in October 2014, which allows Chinese online shoppers to order directly from Bloomingdale's US online shop.

That means, it said, that Chinese tourists who are impressed with the store while travelling for Chinese New Year now have the opportunity to keep shopping when they return to China.

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive, Campaign Asia-Pacific, Jing Daily; additional content by Warc staff