A closer look at the 2014 Chinese tourist
What countries do Chinese tourists dream of going to? What hotel amenities drive booking decisions? How long will they stay abroad on holiday? Replying to these questions in a comprehensive way, a recent survey unveils the preferences and expectations of Chinese tourists. The booking website Hotels.com, in fact, published the 3rd â€œChinese International Travel Monitorâ€ after having interviewed a sample of 3,000 tourists and hoteliers in the spring of 2014.
SAY IT IN MANDARIN - What in 2000 was a secondary market of less than 10 million of travelers, is to reach 100 million by the end of 2014 and is forecast to double to 200 million by 2020. So, it is no surprise if, for Chinese travelers, a translated hotel website, the presence of Mandarin-speaking personnel among the staff and Chinese-language tourist guides are the key services expected during an international trip. They are topped only by the need to pay with a UnionPay credit card (the only card issued in China) and the desire for an efficient Wi-Fi network. Moreover, 7 out of 10 respondents said that having at least some Chinese food served is also important. The challenge seems to be one-sided, since hoteliers said that there are no signs of real improvements in of English-language fluency on the part of these guests. Hotel owners added that smoking rooms, preferably with Chinese â€œluckyâ€ numbers (ex. 8), are requested in a number of cases.
MORE INDEPENDENT THAN EVER - Among hoteliers, 53% noticed an increase in arrivals from China; in 2013 the percentage was 45%. Two-thirds of proprietors globally said that Chinese travelers now account for up to 10% of their business. The majority of them come from the relatively rich elite of China, with an annual income of more than Â¥200,000 (â‚¬24,000) and, on average, stay abroad a week and a half. However, hoteliers said that Mandarin-speaking guests usually donâ€™t spend more than 2-3 nights in the same hotel because they prefer to visit different towns during a single holiday abroad. Proprietors confirmed that 71% of their Chinese guests now travel independently from organized groups, mostly with family.
SAFETY FIRST - When it comes to picking a travel destination, safety is the primary concern of 1 out of 2 respondents. Personal interaction with family and friends proved to be decisive, together with online review sites. Half of the respondents book accommodations on the web or via mobile apps, directly with the hotel or through an online travel agency. Among destinations, European countries keep on gaining in popularity with France, the UK and Italy in the top 10 for hotel bookings. The United States ranked first and, if asked to draft a wish list of the places they would like to visit, Chinese travelers also mention New Zealand, Switzerland and Germany in top positions. According to the Hotels.com survey, Australia, Singapore and France are appreciated as the most welcoming towards Mandarin-speaking tourists.