Trends: Chinese Travelers

Hotels.com LogoCITM Hotels.com

Thanks to a growing group of middle and upper class travelers, the Chinese now have an enormous—and growing—influence on hotels, tour operators, and destinations around the world.

Hotels.com just released its third annual Chinese International Travel Monitor, (CITM)—a report that surveys more than 3,000 Chinese international travelers and 3,000 hoteliers around the world. I loved sifting through the study’s data. Here are some highlights:

Eager globe trotters: While only 5% of Chinese citizens hold passports, 14 million more Chinese travelers traveled in 2013 than 2012. Why? Along with loosening government restrictions, the Chinese now have more disposable income: According to the report, “per capita disposable income in China grew 10.9 percent in 2013, compared with 2012.”

The trend to watch: 71% of Chinese travelers are now opting to travel independently rather in a group.

Hit destinations: Among the top overseas destinations searched by Chinese citizens on Hotels.com, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Seoul stole the top three slots. NYC came in 7th place, Las Vegas was No. 10, and Los Angeles came in 12th place.

Hotel attributes: Room service, onsite restaurants, onsite shops, and business centers ranked among the most important hotel attributes Chinese travelers look for.

Property amenities: Free WiFi and Chinese payment methods (China Union Pay and Alipay) were the most important hotel amenities among Chinese travelers. A Mandarin-speaking staff was a close third.

When the Chinese vacation: February (Spring Festival) and May (Chinese New Year) are the most popular travel months.

Family travel is important: 54% of Chinese travelers reported that they were traveling with a spouse and children.

Here is a PDF of more report highlights.

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