International Travel More 'Essential' Than Ever for Chinese, Especially Millennials

    A new survey suggests hospitality companies around the world are taking measures to accommodate a more experienced Chinese tourist.
    Chinese travelers tour a castle in Germany. In a new survey about one-third of respondents said they would spend more on outbound travel in the next year. <a href="">(Shutterstock)</a>
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Travel

    Chinese jetsetters aren't slowing down, according to the latest Chinese International Travel Monitor 2016 report by Out of 3,000 outbound travelers surveyed, 92 percent planned to either spend more or the same amount on taking trips in the next year, with one-third spending more, viewing travel as “an essential part of life.” The demographic devoting the most of their budget to trip-taking are millennials—they already set aside more than a quarter of their income for it.

    The survey, which was conducted in May by market research company Ipsos, combined insights from Chinese consumers with that of 5,800 hoteliers around the world, and identified that Chinese travelers' expectations and behaviors are changing. Those headed abroad are now better English speakers and are “increasingly looking for value for money,” according to the report. Hotels are racing to accommodate their Chinese guests by doing more than just offering Mandarin services and Chinese cuisine, but by providing amenities like a kettle in the rooms (8 percent of hotels surveyed have one, and 34 percent are planning to have one) and slippers, a popular feature among Chinese hotels. Currently, 2 percent of the hotels surveyed provide them, while 25 percent say they plan to do so in the near future.

    The rush to appease this market especially makes sense with the new data showing that 45 percent of hoteliers saw more Chinese guests in the last year. Out of the total number of Chinese surveyed, the number of millennials booking hotels has gone up 12 percent, slightly more than the total increase. Overall, approximately 120 million Chinese tourists took trips abroad last year.

    To better understand who these travelers and hotel guests are, separated those surveyed into categories that are slightly more complex than the experience seeker versus the shopper or the independent traveler versus those who opt for tour groups (although almost half of those surveyed did say they preferred independent travel). The Chinese traveler types are as follows:


    Detailed explorers (25%):#

    “Born in the 60s and 70s, they are innovative and optimistic, like to learn and explore and to plan their trips down to the last detail.”


    Cautious connectors (25%):#

    “Also born in the 60s and 70s. They come from lower-tier cities and responsible family people and travel to bond with loved ones. They prefer safe, family-friendly hotels.”


    Experience seekers (17%):#

    “Tend to be born in the 80s and 90s and be from top-tier cities. They like stylish hotels and professional advice on local cultural activities. They travel to enrich their experience, being independent and ambitious.”


    Indulgers (12%):#

    “Most likely born in the 80s, they travel to indulge themselves and to demonstrate their power. They tend to stay at higher-star hotels and go on adventurous local tours.”


    Basic pleasure seekers (21%):#

    “Millennials born in the 90s. Unlike other groups, more of them are women than men. They are aesthetically minded and travel for non-material enjoyment, seeking value-for-money accommodation.”

    These tourists are fanning out all over the world, with Australia the top country on their bucket lists, labeled “the best adventure destination,” with Japan taking second place for its diverse offerings and being the “most welcoming country.” Despite a sluggish retail industry suggesting otherwise, Hong Kong is still ranked as a top destination for Chinese tourists, coming in at number three in the survey.

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