How Chinese luxury tourist motivations are changing

    Luxury travel trends have changed significantly post-pandemic, influenced by the proliferation of digital payment platforms and social media.
    Image: Marriott International
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Travel

    The following is an excerpt from “Luxury Explored: Chinese Luxury Travelers’ Evolving Desires” by Jing Daily and Marriott International Luxury Group in Greater China. Get your copy of the report on our Reports page.

    China’s luxury travel market is going through a cultural shift, fueled by changing attitudes and practices post-pandemic. As China’s society and economy have developed, so too have notions of luxury, with an increasing emphasis on subtlety, sophistication, and understated elegance.

    According to Bain’s latest China luxury report forecasts, China’s luxury market will grow this year in the mid-single digits (4-6 percent). From 2017 to 2021, the market tripled in size as Chinese consumers switched from purchasing luxury products and services abroad to buying them at home.

    The proliferation of digital platforms and social media has played a pivotal role in shaping consumer perceptions and driving demand for unique, Instagram-worthy travel experiences. Chinese travelers are well-connected digitally and discerning, relying on online reviews, recommendations, and social media influencers to inform their travel decisions.

    According to Robert Pei, VP and Head of Product for Visa Greater China, luxury travel spending trends have significantly changed, with a growing preference for digital payment methods. Pei points to the increasing adoption of technologies such as Tap to Pay and mobile wallets among luxury travelers, citing their convenience and enhanced security features as drivers.

    Regarding the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pei states, “The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of payment methods in the travel sector. Travelers prioritize contactless and touchless transactions to minimize physical contact. We anticipate continued growth in digital payment adoption among luxury travelers, with a focus on safety, convenience, and flexibility.”

    The emergence of experiential luxury, characterized by a focus on personal enrichment, emotional resonance, and authentic connections, has redefined the parameters of luxury travel in China.

    Download your copy of “Luxury Explored: Chinese Luxury Travelers’ Evolving Desires” on our Reports page.

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