Experience and reviews are leading Chinese tourists’ travel choices

As we have already reported, Chinese tourists target is one of the most promising for the Travel & Tourism industry. Their travel expense, in fact, is one of the highest, even if sometimes it can be reconducted to specific segments of tourists. As reported by HospitalityNet, in an elaboration of the analysis “Prepare for Turbulence: The Chinese Traveler of Today and Tomorrow” by Oliver Wyman, a company which works in consulting and management, the average travel expense of Chinese tourists grew by 3,5% in 2016, and underlines some travel trends which could characterise 2017.

This report highlights that the expense for shopping, which represented 41% of the total travel budget, decreased to 33% in 2016, in particular in the UK, in spite of the weak pound following the Brexit referendum. In fact, shopping was the second main travel motivation, after sightseeing. Today, this component has been replaced by “fun and entertainment”. The number of Chinese travellers is growing, and 150 million tourists are expected in 2017, representing a great potential for the player of the tourism industry. HospitalityNet reports that this target is affected by sudden changes, and being dynamic in embracing them is fundamental. Chinese tourists are focusing their interest on experience and wellness, which includes the discovery of local cuisine, to adventure tourism.

A further detected trend is about the difference between the length of the holidays. Short-hauls, in fact, are becoming shorter and are usually spent in Countries near China or in China itself, choosing the so-called staycation option. On the other hand, long-hauls are becoming longer. In particular, in their planning process, a decline of travel agents was registered, from 15% in 2015 to 2% in 2016. Holidays planned by a single person are growing, from 49% to 74%. Also the composition of travellers’ groups is changing: people travelling alone are decreasing, from 12% to 6%, while the number of couples grew from 46% to 59% and families from 12% to 24%.

Finally, the report underlines how this target of tourists tends to rely on online reviews when it comes to choosing an accommodation. In this case, they do not rely on the platforms which are more popular in the West, as Tripadvisor, but on the ones dedicated to the Chinese market, as Mafengwo, Dianping, Tuniu, Qyer, and Lvmama. In order to become more competitive to this target, it is necessary for hotels to appear on metasearches and OTAs such as Ctrip, Qunar and Elong.

At Twissen we observed that the Chinese tourists target has changing characteristics and travel habits, and keeping pace with them is fundamental to stay competitive on the market. Moreover, the presence on their favourite booking and review platforms is important to reach this target.