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The New Chinese Traveler Is on the Move and Combines Business and Pleasure

@ElizaHannon

Aug 23, 2013 12:41 am

Skift Take

As Chinese travelers become so highly sought-after, more and more information becomes available about their habits and preferences. This latest report is one of the most comprehensive yet.

— Eliza Ronalds-Hannon

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zoetnet  / Flickr

Chinese tourists at the Louvre museum in Paris, France. zoetnet / Flickr


The second annual Chinese International Travel Monitor, released yesterday by Hotels.com, offered some specific insights into the group that WTTC announced in April has become the world’s top-spending tourists.

Affirming some common assumptions, the report also gave fresh insight into the newly valuable demographic.

In a major shift from a traditional preference for organized tours, more than half of Chinese travelers reported that they prefer to travel independently rather than in a group.

Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 3.51.09 PM

The report also showed that Chinese travelers spend big on hotels – more than all except four other nationalities – despite their average annual household income of under $18,000. While they’re there, almost all prefer to eat in the in-house restaurant. They don’t stay in their rooms for long, though; the majority sleep in each hotel for only 2-3 nights, and a quarter move on the day after they arrive.

Mixing business with pleasure has also become more popular among this group, the report found, with almost a quarter of Chinese visitors to North America reporting that they combine work trips with leisure travel when they go abroad.

A few more findings about Chinese tourists:

  • They, like most travelers, want access to free Wi-Fi once they reach their destinations; 84 percent of hotelier respondents reported they’d received that request.
  • Sightseeing is the most popular activity among the group, with dining second and shopping third. Arts and culture, sports, and gambling are all low on the list.
  • Half of them book hotel rooms directly through the hotel, and only 14 percent use online travel agents to find and book accommodations.
  • They want more Chinese-language compatibility. Eighty-eight percent said that translated literature, TV, and newspapers were the most important service a hotel could provide.

For its study, Hotels.com surveyed more than 3,000 Chinese international travelers and more than 1,500 hoteliers around the world, the booking site reported.

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