|Chinese International Travel Monitor|
Wednesday, 28th August 2013
Source : Hotels.com
Welcome to the second Chinese International Travel Monitor, examining the impact of the huge growth in Chinese outbound tourism and the response by the global hotel industry to benefit from this rapidly developing trend.
Since we issued our first report in 2012, the subject has hardly been out of the headlines with many countries now recognising the potential of the Chinese traveller boom. The numbers speak for themselves. Chinese tourists visiting Australia have tripled during the past decade, despite the strong Australian dollar, with China overtaking the UK for second place in inbound tourism for 2012 and now accounting for 10 per cent of Australia’s international tourism market.
China has become the biggest source market for high-end destinations such as the Maldives in the past two years as well as many countries in Asia, including Thailand.
In 2012, the US Embassy in China processed more than 1.34 million non-immigrant visa applications, a 26 per cent year-on-year increase. In addition, the UN World Tourism Organization reported that Chinese travellers spent US$102 billion on international tourism in 2012, 40 per cent more than in 2011, overtaking Germany and the USA as the world’s biggest spenders.
This remarkable growth, largely due to more relaxed government restrictions on foreign travel and the rise of the Chinese middle class with higher disposable income, does not appear to have been impacted by the slowdown in overall economic growth seen in China over recent months. The desire to explore foreign lands and enjoy new experiences remains as strong as ever.
The 2013 CITM is richer in data than our 2012 edition as this year, alongside feedback from hoteliers once again, we have surveyed 3,000 international travellers from China to gain a better understanding of the consumer’s viewpoint, looking at where their priorities lie during their trip away, and it highlights some interesting trends.
For instance, the move away from groups to more independent travel, identified in the CITM last year, is now unstoppable and is preferred by the mainstream.
Governments will have to take this into account when organising their visa application infrastructure and processes. Hoteliers report a growing confidence in this segment as more travellers say they are prepared to step outside their comfort zone and try more authentic local experiences.
Although shopping remains one of the favourite activities, it is by no means the key driver for many who instead rate sightseeing and dining as their main interests.
The desire for hotels to provide more material in Mandarin, including Mandarin-speaking staff, is highlighted by the vast majority of travellers.
In the main, hoteliers are responding well to these new challenges. The CITM can help to provide them with information on how best to capitalise on this potentiallyhighly-rewarding development, particularly as travel from more traditional source markets from parts of Europe has been declining.
Further growth in the pipeline
According to the China Tourism Academy, China became the world’s largest outbound tourism market in 2012i, overtaking Germany and the USA, with an estimated 83 million overseas trips made by Chinese citizens, rising to an astonishing 200 million by 2020. Outbound tourism has already grown by 16 per cent in the first quarter of this year to 22.6 million trips.
Earlier this year, the Chinese government published its Outline for National Tourism and Leisureii, which, amongst other topics, is aimed at sparking an increase in outbound tourism by encouraging employers to promote the use of leave days and also to give Chinese workers more freedom and flexibility of where and when to travel.
New airports, new routes
China plans to build 70 new airports by 2015 and to expand its existing 100 airports. There is a continued increase in low-cost carrier activity and route expansion in Asia, many with China as a key part of their future networking planning.
Continue to read the full report HERE
The Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) collects data directly from both Chinese international ravellers and international hoteliers. For the hoteliers’ survey, Hotels.com carried out a global survey of more than 1,500 Hotels.com hotel partners during May/June 2013. Responses were received from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the USA. For the travellers’ survey, Hotels.com commissioned TNS, a world leader in market research, global market information and business analysis, to conduct a research study amongst Chinese residents in mainland China who had paid for accommodation on an international trip at least once in the past five years. The online research was conducted during May 2013 with 3,000 eligible respondents across the country. Targets were set on key demographics such as age, gender and region to ensure a representative sample that would allow analysis of sub-groups. The questionnaire covered topics including but not limited to travel behaviour, booking methods and preferences for accommodation.