Join mailing list
State of the Chinese outbound leisure travel market in 2018
By
25 September 2018 (Edited 25 September 2018)

Share This Article


Source: David|25 September 2018


Hotels.com last week released its seventh annual Chinese International Travel Monitor, based on results of a May 2018 Ipsos survey of 3,047 residents of China aged 18-58 who had traveled overseas in the preceding 12 months.

The research report documents the impact on global travel and tourism of outbound travelers from mainland China.

Survey respondents were classified by:

  • Size of city of residence:
    • Tier 1 - major cities, e.g. Beijing, Shanghai (51%)
    • Tier 2 - provincial capitals, e.g. Chengdu (33%)
    • Tier 3 - medium-size cities. e.g., Zhuhai (16%)
    • Tier 4 - smaller cities (FEW)
  • Age
    • Born after 1960
    • Born after 1970
    • Born after 1980 (referred to in report as Millennials)
    • Born after 1990 (referred to in report as Millennials)

Some key findings:

Trip planning

  • Top sources of travel inspiration:
    • Film and TV 62%
    • Social media 52%
    • Video sharing 51%
  • Top 5 factors in destination choice:
    • Safety 61%
    • Local cuisine 61%
    • Historical and heritage sites 57%
    • Shopping 56%
    • Climate and weather 48%

Trip statistics

  • Overall average number of trips was 3.9.
  • Average trip length was 8-9 days, up by 1-2 days from 2016.
  • 58% of trips were taken off-peak.
  • Top 3 factors influencing trip length:
    • Vacation days 62%
    • Season 50%
    • Activity sought 50%
  • Bleisure trips were popular - 80% said they would stay an extra 4 days after a business trip. USA and Germany were top bleisure destinations.
  • Preferred booking methods:
    • Mobile website 43%
    • Mobile app 13%
    • Desktop 11%
    • Travel agency 4%
    • Social media platforms 1%
  • Average daily local expenses while traveling:
    • Post-90 $314
    • Post-80 $346
    • Post-70 $299
    • Post-60 $314
    • Overall average $320 (up $5 from 2017)
  • Top 5 favorite activities reported:
    • Tasting local food
    • Visiting landmarks
    • Visiting theme parks
    • Fine dining
    • Ecology/green tours
  • Top uses for smartphones:
    • Taking photos/videos 70%
    • Keeping in touch with family 68%
    • Social media 52%

Country preferences

  • Countries in which Chinese travelers feel most welcome:
    1. Japan 20%
    2. Thailand 16%
    3. Hong Kong 16%
    4. South Korea 12%
    5. Australia 11%
    6. Macau 9%
    7. USA 8% (down from #5 in 2017)
    8. Singapore 6%
    9. Canada 6% (up from #10 in 2017)
    10. New Zealand 5%
  • Top 3 preferred destinations for next year:
  1. Europe 46%
  2. North America 36%
  3. Oceania 35%

Travel styles and experiences sought:

  • Travel style preferences
    • Free and easy 11%
    • Private luxury tours 7%
    • Ecotours 5%
    • Backpacking 5%
  • Preferred quirky/extreme activities:
    • Whitewater rafting 56%
    • Escape room 45%
    • Paintball 39%
    • Slide down live volcano 30%
  • Top adventurous experiences they'd like to try:
    • Walking Bolivian salt flats 65%
    • Stargazing in California desert 59%
    • Stepping on Giants Causeway in NI 56%
    • Visiting USA Burning Man Festival 47%

Hospitality

  • Hotel choices (Multiple trips per traveler so don't add to 100%):
    • Independent hotels with local flavor 55%
    • International chain hotels 49%
    • Boutique hotels 33%
    • Eco-friendly hotels 23%
    • Hotels with cutting-edge technology 21%
    • Value for money was an important consideration.
    • 56% would like to stay in atypical accommodations (treehouse etc.) or go glamping.
  • Hotel deficiencies cited:
    • Preferred payment facilities not available
    • Inadequate local transport
    • No Mandarin-speaking staff or guides
    • Website not available in Mandarin
    • No Chinese restaurant on-site
  • Things that make Chinese feel most welcome:
    • Mandarin-speaking shop assistants 44%
    • Chinese mobile wallet accepted 44%
    • Signage in Mandarin 42%
  • Hotel amenities on which Chinese travelers spend the most money
    • On-site dining 52%
    • On-site shops 26%
    • Room service 20%
  • Hotel superstitions:
    • Mirror opposite bed 35-40%
    • Room at end of corridor 29-41%
    • Room on 4th or 7th floor 12-20%
  • Top 5 favorite hotel technologies:
    • Co-working spaces
    • Voice-activated technology
    • VR booking
    • Robotic customer service
    • Mobile phone room access
  • Top reasons for commenting about hotels and restaurants on social media:
    1. Customer service 50%
    2. Hygiene 44%
    3. Safety / law and order 40%
    4. Friendliness of staff 34%
    5. Convenience of location 33%
  • Other travel items of which some Chinese travelers were critical included:
    • Bathrooms and WiFi 44%
    • Self-service counters 34%
    • Booking and reservations 30%
    • Lack of local experiences and activities 24%

Shopping

  • Shopping preferences
    • Shopping in general 95%
    • Luxury items 38% (down significantly)
    • Local authentic items 43%
  • Preferred payment methods:
    • UnionPay 60%
    • Alipay 49%
  • Improvements most wanted:
    • QR code scan via WeChat (particularly Oceania and North America)
    • Payments by mobile phone

===================================================

That's a very thorough survey and report.

What are the most important implications for Western tourism destinations and businesses?

Here are my picks:

  • Film and TV are top sources of travel inspiration. If anybody is shooting video around your location, get into it any way you can. Even if it's not as feature film or a hit TV show, getting the video on YouTube and publicizing it should help.
  • Safety is important to the Chinese. Stress safety in your communications. Use photos that make your location look safe and attractive for all kinds of people.
  • Local cuisine is important. Even if you don't own a restaurant, promote the best ones near your location
  • If you're at or near a popular business destination, promote extending business trips for leisure - bring the wife, husband, children and stay a few more days having fun.
  • Make sure you're bookable online via mobile devices.
  • USA dropped 3 places in country preference from 2017 to 2018, likely because of US-China trade tensions, and Canada may have gained share as a result. Good for Canada, bad for USA. Americans: go all-out in providing the things that make the Chinese feel most welcome.
  • Hotels: as a minimum, add some Mandarin signage. Don't put Chinese guests in rooms at ends of corridors or on 4th or 7th floor. Have some rooms with no mirror beside bed. Create some co-working common areas.
  • Retailers and everyone: enable at least on payment method favored by the Chinese.

And be sure to see also the Related Listings, below, for more on the Chinese market.


If you found this article helpful and would like to see more like it, please share it via the Share This Article link at the top of the page.

And if you have questions or comments, you can easily send them to me with the Quick Reply form, below.


David Boggs    - David
View David Boggs's profile on LinkedIn

AdWords Search Certification - David H Boggs

   
Rating
5/5 based on 1 votes.
Tags , , , , ,
Views 191 views. Averaging 2 views per day.
Related Listings
Similar Listings
External Article: http://www.citmhotels.com/index.html


E-mail:
Quick Reply
Name:
E-mail:
Subscribe to my newsletter:
Your Comment:


You may use BB Codes in your message.
Spam Prevention:


Members currently reading this thread:

Previous Article | Next Article