Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor highlights big shift
towards independent travel
TORONTO, Aug. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - China has overtaken Germany and the USA
as the world's biggest spenders on travel, with Chinese travellers
spending US$102 billion on international travel in 2012, an increase of
over 40 per cent on 2011*.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120628/540164 )
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130821/634651-INFO )
The second annual Chinese International Travel Monitor released today by
Hotels.com, the world's leading hotel booking website, reveals significant
insights into the changing behaviours of Chinese travellers and how the
global hotel industry is adapting.
Surveying more than 3,000 Chinese international travellers and more than
1,500 hoteliers around the world, the Hotels.com report found 75 per cent of hoteliers globally say Chinese travellers
now account for up to 5 per cent of their business and 45 per cent say
they have experienced an increase in Chinese guests over last year,
with the greatest increases coming in APAC (61 per cent). Hoteliers see
China as a positive growth market over the next three years with one in
10 expecting to see an increase of more than 50 per cent and almost
half (47 per cent) anticipating an 11-50 per cent rise.
According to the Hotels.com report the majority of overseas Chinese travel (96 per cent) has been
for leisure purposes, while just over half (52 per cent) have also
visited other countries for business or education.
In a growing trend, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of Chinese
travellers say they prefer to travel independently and not as part of a
group. This development has been confirmed by the hoteliers surveyed,
who say 70 per cent of Chinese guests now travel independently,
compared with a much more even split in 2012.
Johan Svanstrom, Managing Director of Hotels.com Asia Pacific, said, "The 2013 Chinese International Travel Monitor
(CITM) shows the move to independent travel identified in the CITM last
year is now preferred by the majority of Chinese travellers. While
in-roads have been made in this area, governments will have to take
this into account when organising their visa application infrastructure
In addition, the CITM highlights areas for continued improvement for
accommodation providers. The ability to accept Chinese payment methods
is seen as the single most important offering from hotels and over a
quarter (26 per cent) of Chinese travellers feel this is a key area for
Three quarters (75 per cent) of Chinese travellers say hoteliers need to
improve the provision of translated items, such as welcome literature,
websites, TV programmes and newspapers, while almost half (42 per cent)
say that they would like more Mandarin speaking staff in hotels.
Highlighting a disconnect between the desires of Chinese travellers and
provisions made by hoteliers, a quarter (25 per cent) of hoteliers say
they offer cultural awareness training to staff but only 11 per cent
offer welcome materials in Mandarin. Additionally, globally, just over
half (56 per cent) of hotels have invested less than $10,000** in
developing programmes and products specifically catering to Chinese
guests over the past 12 months.
When it comes to researching and booking travel, personal recommendation
plays an increasingly vital role, with almost a third (30 per cent) of
Chinese travellers saying they rely on advice from family and friends,
followed by online travel booking and review sites.
More than a quarter of Chinese travellers (27 per cent) use social media
to help them make decisions on holiday destinations, with this figure
rising to 33 per cent among younger travellers under 35.
"These insights highlight the need for hoteliers to adapt their
marketing strategies, with a particular focus on online and social
media channels, to attract Chinese travelers," said Svanstrom. "While
the CITM shows hoteliers are making positive steps towards catering to
an increasingly mobile and savvy Chinese travel market, it also shows
the need for the global hotel industry to adapt facilities and services
to more extensively cater to the world's largest market of travellers."
"In addition, programmes being implemented by many governments and
tourism authorities to attract and facilitate for Chinese travellers
are a positive step in the right direction, but the pace of growth in
the volume of Chinese travellers appears to be outstripping the pace of
change in the hotel industry," he concluded.
*United Nations World Travel Organisation World Tourism Barometer, April
2013, retrieved 16 July 2013, http://mkt.unwto.org/en/barometer
**When asked 'How much money (in US$) has your property invested in
programmes or products catering specifically to the Chinese guest over
the past 12 months, 56 per cent answered under $10,000 had been
To download the full report in English please visit http://press.hotels.com/citm
About the research
The Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) collects data directly from
both Chinese international travellers and international hoteliers.
The traveller's survey was commissioned in May 2013 through TNS amongst
a representative sample of 3,000 Chinese residents in mainland China
who had paid for accommodation on an international trip at least once
in the past five years. The questionnaire covered topics including but
not limited to travel behaviour, booking methods and preferences for
Hotels.com carried out a global survey of more than 1,500 Hotels.com hotel partners during May/June 2013. Responses were received from
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the USA.
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