Chinese Consumers Seeking More in Luxury Offerings.
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Wednesday, 20th November 2013
Exclusive Feature: Seems the world's wealthiest travelers are also the least impressed with their luxury options; so, what does this mean for hotels and travel companies operating in China and Hong Kong?.

In a recently released report, '2014 China Luxury Forecast,' Ipsos Group and Ruder Finn found that Chinese consumers list poor customer service and inadequate knowledge among retail staff within the country as primary motives for taking their shopping abroad.

The report - a survey of 1,800 luxury consumers from Hong Kong and Mainland China - also found that 36 percent of mainland Chinese and 34 percent of Hong Kong respondents prefer to shop for luxury products online.

So, what does this mean for hotels and travel companies operating in China and Hong Kong? It means there's a huge opportunity to capture an unsatisfied, wealthy market - especially for those operating in the luxury segment.

Luxury Daily covered the report when it first published and cited Ritz-Carlton as one of the luxury hotels already making an impression on Chinese travelers. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company released their Chinese website earlier this year, catering specifically to the Chinese traveler looking for luxury at home and abroad.

Now that the news has spread that the affluent Chinese shopper is underwhelmed by their luxury options, there's even more opportunity to appeal to this consumer.

Here's what the China Luxury Forecast ascertained:

  • Chinese luxury consumption will stabilize throughout 2014
  • Chinese consumers are less interested in brand names and increasingly search for product uniqueness
  • Fashion and beauty sales are likely to rise throughout 2014 (watch, handbag, jewelry, shoes and fine wine sales will likely remain constant)
  • Chinese consumers are spending more time shopping overseas, particularly in Europe, in an effort to get the brands and quantities they want. Hong Kong is a favorite shopping port for jewelry, handbags and beauty products.
How can hotels get into the mix? It's time to take a look at what's offered outside of the typical guest room amenities.

Hotel boutiques offer a prime opportunity for shopping while traveling. More retailers are looking to expand in China, and hotels are often the best spot for setting up shop. For hotels that prefer to keep their boutiques under their names, consider bringing in a few name brands that appeal to your target audience

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.

Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.

Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com
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