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Tech-savvy, younger and more affluent Chinese form a substantial part of a 20% growth in outbound mainland Chinese travellers, reaching 107 million last year.
But hoteliers need to cater to their needs with Chinese-speaking staff, Chinese-language tourist guides and dedicated websites, according to a study by Hotels.com.
The growing influence of so-called ‘millennials’ aged 18 to 35 is identified in the research. Fifty-nine per cent of hoteliers surveyed have experienced an increase in Chinese guests aged 35 or under in the past year and they expect this trend to continue to grow.
The growth is especially strong in the Asia Pacific region, where 78% of hoteliers reported an increase.
Another feature is the growing financial muscle of the top 10% of travellers from China in terms of overseas travel spend. Spending on average RMB 13,800 (£1,467) per day including accommodation, they parted with four times more money than that of the average traveller, who spent RMB 3,324 (£353).
However, this pales into insignificance when compared with the top five per cent of spenders, who spent over six times more than the average at RMB 20,896 (£2,221), indicating the emergence of a ‘super-luxury’ class, the Chinese International Travel Monitor 2015 revealed.
Using the internet to research and book overseas trips has become the norm for Chinese travellers, while the use of mobile phones for planning and booking their travel has skyrocketed.
Eighty per cent of Chinese travellers used an online device including mobiles, desktops and laptops to plan and book travel in the past 12 months, compared with only 53% in 2013.
Half of all Chinese international travellers now use apps on their smart phones to plan and book trips, up from just 17% in the previous year.
The findings come from data about more than 3,000 Chinese international travellers and 1,500 Hotels.com accommodation partners globally with Hotels.com’s own data and other third-party research.
Asia Pacific vice president and managing director, Abhiram Chowdhry, said: “Hotels.com’s latest report reveals several themes emerging, not least the expanding influence of Chinese ‘millennial’ travellers, an increasingly more affluent Chinese traveller, and the explosion in the use of technology, in particular mobile, as part of the accommodation research and booking process.
“Many hoteliers have already recognised the benefits of free Wi-Fi as well as Chinese-language information and booking websites.
“Several themes emerge from the latest Hotels.com report, not least the expanding influence of Chinese ‘millennial’ travellers, an increasingly more affluent Chinese traveller, and the explosion in the use of technology, in particular mobile.”
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