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Chinese guests?


#1

OK, gang, I need your advice! Our usual guests are 98% from Europe with the odd US/Canadians. Since going onto IB we have our first booking from a couple from China. They say “My wife and I are from China.We only speak chines.but we can communicate through software translation tools.We arrived at malaga by train at 19:55” The booking is for mid-June so I presume they mean “will arrive”.

I’m happy to accept any nationality but I am worried … our place is not a typical city apartment; although we are in a suburb, there is no public transport, they are obviously not intending to hire a car so will need to go everywhere by taxi. They are only here for three nights and I truly feel our situation is going to be a hassle for them and they would be better off staying in an apartment in town or at the beach where everything is within walking distance.

Should I try to dissuade them and suggest they cancel (we have Moderate cancellation?) Apartments in the town centre are not particularly more expensive than here.so it’s not that they would be saving money by coming to us. Or am I overthinking this?


#2

Why do you say that?


#3

Because they say they are arriving by train. Though I suppose they could be renting one from there now you mention it … I guess I just assumed that as they are only here for 2 whole days they’d be flying back from here. I should probably check that assumption with them …


#4

I would send them a message through AirBnB with all the information you would like them to know prior to their arrival. They will be able to translate the messages and read the information prior to check in. Include something like, “As mentioned in the listing, our property is XX distance from the city centre and while there is a taxi service, public transportation is not available in our area.”

I find that the best way to make guests happy is to manage their expectations. This is easy to do if you make sure they understand what they have booked BEFORE they arrive.

If nothing else, you have documented communication through AirBnB in case they want to cancel after they arrive because they can’t go anywhere.


#5

Since they need to use translation software to communicate, then I assume they wouldn’t be able to read road signs when driving? - and therefore, would not be renting a car.

Yeah…I’d tell them upfront about the transportation options available. Let them click on the cancel button if they change their mind. Do you think they maybe just want to stay right in you area? First, I would find out whether they even plan on leaving your place. I read so many stories of guests who book a place, and then never leave it at all - for one reason or another


#6

Why not just ask what / why they will be in your area.


#7

Forced to guess I’d think they don’t know what they are doing. But I’d hate to assume. So by checking with them about how they are getting to and fro out of concern for their well-being, not for yours. I have found the translation apps to be better than nothing but not 100%. I had a Chinese guest book recently and she said something about cooking. I just clarified with her that there was only a kettle and microwave and no dishes or utensils. She said that was fine. Then coincidentally cancelled the next day saying their route plan had changed. Hmmmm…


#8

I have had quite a few Chinese guests or guests who speak Mandarin staying with me. Some with good English. Some with not so much English.

Pretty much like guests from other countries in Europe or further afield.

To me this is not about them being Chinese but about managing expectations to ensure they understand you live in an area with no public transport. I would let them know this and ask about plans for their stay, confirming that they will need to use a taxi if they aren’t hiring a car if they want to travel outside of your local area.

I would also let them know what’s available locally in terms of shops, restaurants, local attractions.


#9

We’ve had many guests from China and a number of them did not rent a car. They would use Uber though so it really wasn’t an issue. We had some young folks from Taiwan who thought they could use public transportation to go just about anywhere they wanted. They got a rude awakening here.


#10

Great advice above. The only thing I would add is, by and large my Chinese guests have had good to excellent English. I have had two other guests (Korean and Brazilian) who had the least English of any guests of mine ever and they were exhausting. One of them was confused by most everything not just language, the other I had enough vocabulary to get by and we could use translation software readily. Still, it was uphill.

Guests without any local language skills (do they at least speak Spanish??) are obviously VERY dependent on their hosts for most everything so if you can find a listing in town AND with a Mandarin or Cantonese or Hakaa speaker, by some miracle, that would really help everyone out.


#11

Thanks for all the input. I actually think they’re quite brave travelling on their own with neither Spanish nor English, as although we have growing numbers of Chinese visiting Malaga, they tend to be groups who arrive on Cruise ships.

Malaga is very much a destination city at the moment for tourists … more museums and galleries than any other Spanish city, bars, restaurants, beaches etc. We get guests who want to be near the city but not right in the midst … and we have a garden and pool which is unusual here unless you rent an entire villa.

I’m going to write and point out the drawbacks. If they decide to come anyway, well … we’ll just do a lot of hand-holding. It’s only for a couple of days, after all, but I really don’t want to feel that any of our guests would have a less than optimal experience if I could avoid it.


#12

I honestly think that I would rather experience people from China, on perhaps their first foray into Europe, even abroad, with little or no language skills, than the whiny, bratty, spoilt “Little Emperor/Empress” that seem to be coming out of London for weekends at the moment. They expect you to wait up until 2 am without asking, to bring their pets, arrange their taxis, book tables etc. Ghastly. I could go on, but can’t as Air cancelled both groups for me. I didn’t have to meet them. Yay!

I think these people will have the best of times with you, particularly after your decision to handhold them for two days, and that can be rewardingly fun for both parties.


#13

Oh dear, poor you, sounds awful! About 70% of the people who visit us are young Dutch couples - best guests in the world, as far as I’m concerned! Apart from the fact that they’re so tall that no bed is big enough for them, but they don’t even complain about that!


#14

I love Dutch guests too, and yes, they are tall. We have one bed we were considering replacing with ours, after a week in a Super King and the bliss of not having himself snoring in my face! Then we realised that it’s the best bed for exceptionally tall people; no end at the foot. Guests come first I suppose.


#15

I agree but keep it simple so the translate program doesn’t screw it up:

"Things to be careful:

  1. not close town centre or beach
  2. hire car or taxi needed travel far
  3. maybe prefer cancel and rent apartment in city center or beach?"

#16

I agree you need to keep it simple, but that doesn’t mean deviating from proper English. I understand what you’re trying to do, but I had difficulty understanding your condensed sentences, so I’m not sure what a translation program would make of them!

The point of this is mostly to demonstrate to AirBnB that you have attempted to explain the property accurately to your guest. Let AirBnB do the translating. If you’re using their platform, that’s their problem, not yours. Yes, translation programs aren’t always perfect, but if you don’t use proper English, they’re even more likely to make mistakes.

Also, I would remove number three. I wouldn’t suggest they should cancel. Keep it simple. Just give them the information, and let them decide for themselves.


#17

hi,
the Chinese people we have had to stay with us have been adventurous, resourceful and very good at getting themselves around with or without fluent Spanish or English
(we also live in the suburbs without great public transport 24/7 )
all your other European guests have managed so far, maybe some of them didn’t have fluent Spanish either.
Edit : apologies from me, didn’t mean to offend anyone here, or especially Malagachica.
I have a few Asian & Chinese friends, and I wanted to make the point that they are indeed worth getting to know.
I appreciate that transport & location in remote places can become a major issue if guests don’t have their own transport, and that you have actually helped them by encouraging them to book somewhere else.


#18

The OP doesn’t have a racist bone in her body; I fear you have misinterpreted her concern for non English speakers finding themselves staying somewhere unsuitable, without her being able to describe her location, facilities and what Malaga has to offer, before they book. Perhaps have another read?


#19

I will try not to take offence at this, but it’s difficult. For your information, I’ve lived in seven different countries, speak five languages including Urdu and Persian, though admittedly not Chinese. If I am racist then it is so far down in my psyche that I am completely unable to see it. Who knows, maybe we’re all racist and we just don’t recognise it until you kindly point it out to us?

What I do know is that, as I have found in my reviews from many guests over 5 years, guests without cars find it more difficult to stay at our place. We don’t have “not great” public transport, we have none - It is a 25 minute walk to our nearest bus stop, and that is downhill - back uphill takes longer. We point this out clearly in our listing and 95% of our guests hire cars. The rest mark us down on location. If these potential guests were driving I would have been happy and interested to host them - the fact of not speaking Spanish or English was just a further complication.

As it was I did in fact message them and explained the transport situation. I further said thatI was not sure if they realised that we are some distance to the city centre and since they were only in Malaga for two days they might find it inconvenient to have to take taxis everywhere though of course we would help with this. I then said that if, knowing this, they decided not to book with us they could cancel with no penalty, and in fact they did this a few hours later along with a message thanking us for the information and saying they would look for somewhere nearer the centre.

It is very easy to sling insults such as “racist” and “sexist” around when you actually have no idea what the person you are accusing thinks or believes. I would advise you to be more circumspect.


#20

Thank you so much for those words of support, Joan. I was very upset by @marimages accusation.


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