New research shows Chinese travel driven by the young, wealthy and tech-savvy

Chinese Young TouristHotels.com has published their 4th major annual study of Chinese traveller habits, the Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM).

According the research, the growth in Chinese travel is being driven by tech-savvy, younger and wealthier Chinese tourists, who make up a large part of the 20% growth in outbound mainland Chinese travellers. It also highlights the need for hotels to cater to the needs of this growing market, by employing Chinese-speaking staff and ensuring their websites are accessible in mainland China, and are translated into Chinese.

The research combines data from more than 3,000 Chinese international travellers and 1,500 Hotels.com accommodation partners with the website’s own data, as well as third-party research.

Hotel Feedback

Of those surveyed, 61% of hoteliers responded by saying they had seen an increase of Chinese guests over the past year. The figure balloons to 79% when narrowed to the Asia-Pacific region. Most also expect this number to continue to rise.

Luxury Travel

One noticeable result from this year’s research was the spending power of Chinese travellers at the top-end of the scale. Those in the top 5% in terms of money spent shelled out an average of USD$3,368 per day, which is six times the average amount (USD$536), signalling the emergence of a ‘super-luxury’ class. In addition, 46% of top spenders opt for a recognisable, international brand or chain.

Increasing influence of Gen Y

The results also indicated that the growth in Chinese travel is being strongly influenced by so-called ‘Gen Y’ travellers – tech-savvy 18 to 35 year olds. In the Asia-Pacific region, 78% of respondents reported an increase in this market segment.

These travellers are increasingly using the internet to book their trips and are eschewing traditional travel agents, with the percentage of travellers booking through agents plummeting from 34% last year to just 13%.

As a result, the percentage of Chinese travellers using an online device (mobile phone, tablet, desktop or laptop) has soared from 53% last to 80%. Apps are also increasing in popularity, with half of travellers now using them to plan and book trips, up from 17% last year.

Maldives

The Maldives continues to inspire the travel dreams of Chinese travellers. The country features in 7th place on the list of top 10 countries travellers say they would like to visit in the next 12 months, according to the Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM).