For the last five years, global retailers have been setting up programs designed to cater to hordes of shop-a-holic Chinese tourists in love with Western brands. That was the second trend in China travel. The first was that they were traveling outside of Asia for the first time. The third trend is Chinese globe trotting tourists spending more on bucket list destinations, not bucket list brands.
According to China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, Chinese tourists alone spent over $165 billion in 2014. Tourism officials worldwide want a piece of the action. China’s economy is slowing, sure. But China’s rich population is not. It is expanding. Moreover, China tourists spend more than all other countries. That number will rise in the years ahead.
Hotels.com said last month in its annual Chinese International Travel Monitor that the average total amount spent per day by Chinese international travelers was 3,324 yuan ($543), including accommodations, with most spending still going to retail. Sightseeing, however, was in the top three. Within the one-percenters of China’s jet set, spending is around 13,000 yuan ($2,124) daily.
The Chinese tourism industry is still young. It has outperformed the general economy in terms of GDP growth thanks to disposable incomes, an 80%+ gain in the local stock market over the last 12 months, and a growing interest in foreign cultures.
The Chinese International Travel Monitor survey sasked mainlanders not just what country that want to visit, but what do they want to see in those countries most in 2015.
“This year’s report is another wake-up call to host countries around the world to pull out all the stops to accommodate Chinese travelers and tailor their services for this market,” says Abhiram Chowdhry, Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacificfor Hotels.com “They are younger, more independent, highly tech-savvy, happy to spend – and they know exactly what they want. The potential is huge.”
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