China Becomes World's Biggest Travel Spender According to Hotels.com Report
Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor highlights shift toward
DALLAS, August 21, 2013
DALLAS, August 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
China has overtaken the U.S. and Germany as the world's biggest spenders on
travel, with Chinese travelers spending $102 billion on international travel
in 2012, an increase of over 40 percent from 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 (CITM) released today
by Hotels.com, the world's leading hotel booking website, reveals significant
insights into the changing behaviors of Chinese travelers and how the global
hotel industry is adapting.
Surveying more than 3,000 Chinese international travelers and more than 1,500
hoteliers around the world, the Hotels.com report found 75 percent of global
hoteliers say Chinese travelers now account for up to five percent of their
business. Nearly half (45 percent) say they have experienced an increase in
Chinese guests over the last year, with the greatest increases coming in APAC
(61 percent). 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
percent and almost half (47 percent) anticipating an 11-50 percent rise.
According to the Hotels.com report, the majority of overseas Chinese travel
(96 percent) has been for leisure purposes, while just over half (52 percent)
have also visited other countries for business or education.
In a growing trend, nearly two thirds (62 percent) of Chinese travelers say
they prefer to travel independently and not as part of a group. This
development was confirmed by the hoteliers surveyed, who say 70 percent of
Chinese guests now travel independently, compared with a much more even split
"The 2013 Chinese International Travel Monitor shows that the move to
independent travel identified in the last year's report is now preferred by
the majority of Chinese travelers," said Johan Svanstrom, Managing Director of
Hotels.com Asia Pacific. "While in-roads have been made in this area,
governments will have to take this into account when organising their visa
application infrastructure and processes."
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, with over one-fourth (26
percent) of Chinese travelers feeling this is a key area for improvement.
Three-fourths (75 percent) of Chinese travelers say hoteliers need to improve
the provision of translated items, such as welcome literature, websites, TV
programs and newspapers, while almost half (42 percent) say that they would
like to see more Mandarin-speaking hotel staff.
Highlighting a disconnect between the desires of Chinese travelers and
provisions made by hoteliers, one-fourth (25 percent) of hoteliers say they
offer cultural awareness training to staff but 11 percent offer welcome
materials in Mandarin. Additionally, just over half (56 percent) of hotels
globally have invested less than $10,000** in developing programs and products
specifically catered to Chinese guests over the past 12 months.
When it comes to researching and booking travel, personal recommendation plays
an increasingly vital role, with almost one-third (30 percent) of Chinese
travelers saying they rely on advice from family and friends, followed by
online travel booking and review sites.
More than one-fourth of Chinese travelers (27 percent) use social media to
help them make decisions on vacation destinations, with this figure rising to
33 percent among travelers under 35.
"These insights highlight the need for hoteliers to adapt their marketing
strategies, with a particular focus on online and social media channels, to
attract Chinese travelers," said Svanstrom. "While the CITM shows hoteliers
are making positive steps towards catering to an increasingly mobile and savvy
Chinese travel market, it also shows the need for the global hotel industry to
adapt facilities and services to more extensively cater to the world's largest
market of travelers."
"In addition, programs being implemented by many governments and tourism
authorities to attract and facilitate for Chinese travelers are a positive
step in the right direction, but the pace of growth in the volume of Chinese
travelers appears to be outstripping the pace of change in the hotel
industry," he concluded.
*United Nations World Travel Organisation World Tourism Barometer, April 2013,
retrieved 16 July 2013, http://mkt.unwto.org/en/barometer
**When asked 'How much money (in US$) has your property invested in programmes
or products catering specifically to the Chinese guest over the past 12
months', 56 percent answered under $10,000 had been invested.
To download the full report in English please
About the research
The Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) collects data
directly from both Chinese international travelers and international
The survey was commissioned in May 2013 through TNS amongst a representative
sample of 3,000 Chinese residents in mainland China who had paid for
accommodations on an international trip at least once in the past five years.
The questionnaire covered topics including but not limited to travel behavior,
booking methods and preferences for accommodations.
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
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