How Chinese travelers differ from their global peers

    Compared to their global counterparts, Chinese luxury travelers exhibit distinct preferences when it comes to luxury and prestige.
    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.

    Vincent Wang, a prominent Chinese travel influencer and writer for Condé Nast Traveler magazine, highlights Chinese luxury travelers’ changing expectations. He notes that while exclusivity remains paramount, there’s a nuanced difference between mature and young travelers. The former prioritize exclusivity, whereas millennials and Gen Z favor uniqueness.

    “For global luxury travelers, exclusivity is key, but they also value social interactions during their trips, a preference less emphasized among mature Chinese luxury travelers,” he explains.

    Wang observes a shift in priorities among Chinese luxury travelers, with an increasing appreciation of craftsmanship alongside quality. While quality still reigns supreme in terms of destination and accommodation selection, there’s a growing interest in experiences that showcase artisanal skills and creativity.

    “Stable destinations and renowned brands like Japan and Thailand and The Ritz-Carlton remain a top choice,” he notes. “However, admiration for craftsmanship has surged in recent years. Chinese luxury travelers now seek itineraries and excursions centered around themes like floral art, art studio visits, and behind-the-scenes tours. The process of creating beauty and perfection captivates and excites them.”

    The 2023 Hurun Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey, which surveyed 750 high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) in China from families with assets of 45 million RMB ($6.22 million), found respondents took 23 vacation days per year, which is consistent with the previous year’s findings.

    The Hurun survey further unveils that, within the realm of luxury hotel brands, The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, and Peninsula emerge as the top three favorites among this discerning group.

    Carol Chen, a China travel expert and co-founder of Shineway, a Chinese luxury travel agency, says that compared to their global counterparts, Chinese luxury travelers exhibit distinct preferences when it comes to luxury and prestige.

    Another distinguishing characteristic of Chinese luxury travelers is their strong sense of group identity. Chen notes that they are acutely aware of their social status and wish to fit in with their peer group. “Chinese luxury travelers are more likely to follow trends and purchase the same brands and experiences as their friends and colleagues to maintain social cohesion,” Chen adds.

    Furthermore, the concept of “face” plays a significant role in Chinese luxury travelers’ purchasing decisions. “‘Face’ is the desire to avoid embarrassment or shame. Chinese luxury travelers prioritize purchasing luxury goods or services that will not embarrass them in public or among their social circle,” Chen explains.

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

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