Tag Archives: Chinese International Travel Monitor

Events organisers and suppliers to the MICE sector who haven’t heeded China’s latest outbound tourism numbers or what its travellers ask for most commonly in hotels (free wifi and kettles) could miss out on revenue in a major way.

Young Couple ShoppingThat’s the key message, again, in Hotels.com’s latest Chinese International Travel Monitor, published last month. The fifth annual survey of its kind shows that despite a slowdown in the growth of Chinese overseas travel, 92% of travellers from the country plan to increase or maintain spending, and one-third plan to spend more on travel in the coming year.

A staggering 120 million Chinese travelled overseas in 2015, up from 117 million in 2014, the year when the milestone of 100 million was first passed. There were over a million (1,023,600) to Australia alone – up 22 percent on the previous year. And down under remains at the top of the Chinese traveller wish list for the third year in a row as the most desired destination to visit in the next 12 months.

A rough measure of the still-untapped potential of this market could be that only 5% of the 1.4 billion people in China hold passports, yet it’s already the top global spender on travel. The expenditure is expected to equal Finland’s GDP and exceed the size of the Greek economy in five years.

Chinese millennials – 18 to 35-year-olds – spend over a quarter of their income on travel. Two-thirds of travellers from China consider travel an essential part of life, and are prepared to spend nearly a quarter of their income on it.

Kettles and slippers

While the top requests in hotels by Chinese travelers were for free wi-fi and kettles in their rooms, requests numbers three and four were Chinese breakfast and slippers. However, one-size-fits-all perceptions of the Chinese as group tour travellers wanting only Chinese breakfasts and Mandarin translators are outdated, according to Abhiram Chowdry, Vice President and Managing Director APAC for Hotels.com.

“Our research shows that the industry needs to move decisively to develop new products and marketing strategies for the far more sophisticated Chinese travellers of today,” he says.

“An analysis of our research data has revealed that Chinese travellers fall into one of five travel personas [which] open the way for targeted marketing to attract these segments and cater to their specific needs.”

Read the report  here.


Hotel operators and events organisers who don’t actively encourage tourists from mainland China could miss out on the opportunity of the century, especially in the luxury and “super-luxury” end of the market.

That’s evident from this year’s Chinese International Travel Monitor, recently released by online booking giant Hotels.com.

One of the revelations in the 2015 edition, the fourth, of the annual report into China outbound tourism is the growing financial muscle of the top 10% of spenders.

On average they shell out RMB 13,800 (AUD 2,817) a day, more than four times the spend of the average Chinese outbound traveller. But the top 5% spend even more: an astonishing RMB 20,896 (AUD 4,265) a day – indicating the emergence of a “super-luxury” class of traveller.

Chinese couple reading map on trainHotels.com’s latest report is a reminder for countries like Australia to pull out all stops to accommodate Chinese travellers and tailor their services for this market, as the potential is huge,” says Katherine Cole, Regional Director, Australia, New Zealand & Singapore for Hotels.com.

Katherine does not exaggerate. According to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecast, outbound Chinese travellers could number 174 million in four years’ time, spending about US$264 billion annually. That compares with around 107 million travellers in 2014. The forecast revenue is roughly equivalent to the GDP of a developed country like Singapore. “Clearly, the Chinese dragon is still building steam,” says Abhiram Chowdhry, Vice President and Managing Director APAC for the Hotels.com brand.

Australia came out on top, for the second year in a row, as the most desired destination for Chinese travellers to visit in the next 12 months. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were named among the world’s top 10 cities they intend to visit.

Millennials’ growing influence

The report reveals the growing influence of Gen Y travellers, tech-savvy “millennials” aged 18 to 35. Fifty-nine per cent of hoteliers surveyed say they’ve experienced an increase in Chinese guestsaged 35 or under in the past year and they expect this trend to continue.

Meantime the use of mobile phones for planning and booking travel has skyrocketed. In the past 12 months, 80% of Chinese travellers used an online device including mobiles, desktops and laptops to plan and book, compared with only 53% last year.

The top three countries they actually visited last year were the US, Thailand and Hong Kong. The top 10% of spenders paid an average of 2,723 RMB (AUD556) per night on hotels alone.

Top 10 countries Chinese travellers say they would like to visit in the next 12 months 

Rank Country
1 Australia
2 Japan
3 France
4 Hong Kong
5 South Korea
6 US
7 Maldives
8 Germany
9 Thailand
10 Taiwan


To read the full report, visit www.CITM2015.com.

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