China’s Thrill-Seeking Wealthy Travelers Aim For Adventure

Trips to Antarctica are becoming increasingly popular among China's wealthy. (Shutterstock)

Trips to Antarctica are becoming a new status symbol for China’s HNWIs. (Shutterstock)

China’s most well-traveled rich are ready to branch out and explore unique locations more than ever, according to a new report.

A new survey by the Hurun Report and travel agency DIADEMA released yesterday queried 203 Chinese high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) who spent more than US$25,000 on a trip in the past three years on how they’re planning their trips, what types they’re taking, and where they’re going.

The report finds that adventure travel is increasingly important for this cosmopolitan group, which is interested in visiting South America, Africa, and even the North and South Poles at significant rates. “Experiential travel rather than just shopping tours are becoming more popular now that the Chinese luxury consumer has traveled more widely,” said Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf.

The most common types of trips for these “super tourists,” who have traveled on average 22 times, have been island holidays and driving trips. Adventurous excursions such as Arctic, Antarctic and nature adventures also rank high on the list. These travelers stay on their trips for 18 days on average, with an average spend of about US$150,000 per trip.

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When it comes to desired destinations to visit in the next three years, South America tops the list, followed by the South Pole and the North Pole and Africa. These results show that as Chinese tourists become more experienced travelers on “typical” vacations, they’re quickly expanding their horizons in search of unique experiences.

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According to the study, friends and family are the most important sources for finding travel inspiration, but online booking sites and travel agencies were important in the the planning and booking stages of the trip. Travel agencies were the main source of information for most respondents on their favorite trip of the year, while 50 percent of all respondents used travel agencies to book their hotel. Meanwhile, the internet was the most important planning source for their Chinese New Year trip, and 42 percent used third-party online booking while only 28 percent used travel agencies to secure hotel rooms during the holiday period.

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