How well versed are you on Chinese travelers? China is such a large place with many different demographic groups that are now traveling.
Hurun Report publishes ‘The Chinese Luxury Traveler 2015’ in Association with ILTM Asia , reveals ten facts about Chinese travelers.
Fast increase in overseas travel.Chinese high net worth individuals, defined as individuals with wealth of CNY 10 million (equivalent to US$1.6m), travelled overseas four times last year, totaling 33 days, of which leisure travel made up 20 days, up 10% or two days, and business travel made up 13 days. Total number of outbound trips in 2014 increased 17.8% year on year, to 116 million, according to the China Tourism Academy
Luxury travel buyers influence grew. More than two thirds of China’s super travellers, defined as individuals who spent US$30,000 or more on travel last year,arranged their leisure travel with a luxury travel agency. Customized service and well-planned itineraries were the key considerations for a good travel agency.
Travel destinations with Chinese characteristics. Antarctica was the destination of choice last year for Chinese super travelers, especially during the Chinese New Year holiday. 49% went for the landscape. The Maldives have grown in popularity as a destination these last two years, surging to third place in the preferred international luxury travel destinations. Domestically, Sanya and Tibet led the way.
Most memorable trip last year and Chinese New Year. The most memorable trip of 2014 was a 13-day trip with 6 friends, one day and one friend in the group more than last year. For Chinese New Year, it was with family, and a smaller group of 4 people. In both cases, half travelled business class, compared with only a third last year.
When to travel. The top choice for travel time was the summer holidays, followed by the October national holiday and Spring Festival. However, 56% of respondents chose the off peak season, an 11% increase over the previous year. Chinese New Year was the peak season for family travel. 93% were travelling with family members or friends.
6.Hotels. More than half of China’s super travellers made their own hotel bookings. The Peninsula topped the list of preferred luxury hotel brands for the first time, followed by the Mandarin Oriental. Shangri-La, which topped the ranking for the past decade, dropped down to the fifth this year. However, for reward cards, Hilton and Marriott led the way for 29% and 26% respectively. Hoogewerf said, “China’s luxury travellers may prefer the idea of luxury hotel brands like the Peninsula and Mandarin Oriental, but their most-used reward cards are still with the Hilton and Marriott.”
Air travel.Air China, the leading Chinese member of theStar Alliance, was the run-away winner of the best frequent flyer program, with 66% of respondents being members. There has been a surge in flying business class in the past year. Singapore Airlines was the winner of the best business and first class.
Looking forward 3 years. There is a clear trend towards experiential travel, especially as China’s high net worth individuals are doing more business travel than ever before. Physical and spiritual relaxation lies at the heart of their leisure travel needs, demonstrated in the rise of medical tourism. Europe and America can expect to lead the way for Chinese luxury travellers, coming in first and second 47% and 45% respectively.
Impact of smartphones. WeChatovertook email as the most used function on smartphones at 58%, up 19%. WeChat was also the most widely accessed source for travel news, at 42%, followed by travel apps. 94% of respondents have installed travel APPs on their smartphones, led by Ctrip (49%) and Qunar (15%).
Travel retail. The Chinese luxury consumer is now the absolute Number One consumer of luxury in the world, with 35% of the total consumption of luxury, according to a recent report by tax refund brand Global Blue. Russians came in a distant second place with 13%. Europe was the destination of choice for luxury shopping, with France leading the pack for 22% of respondents. For gifting, Apple overtook Hermes to become the preferred luxury brand to gift, although spending on gifting declined 5% year on year, on the back of the government’s anti-corruption campaign.
Hurun Report conducted two bespoke surveys for this report.
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