Nearly Half of Chinese Travellers Buy Luxury Brands Overseas
“Chinese consumers these days are more informed and sophisticated and luxury brands offer quality and project a certain high social status. While they have more disposable income, they will still spend wisely, and are taking advantage of increased international travel to pick up luxury brands they may not ordinarily be able to afford at home, ” says Dr Grace Pan, Head of Travel and Leisure Research - The Nielsen Company China.
China has become a major market for international brands in recent years with more designer brands opening flagship stores in this fast growing market. According to Nielsen data, if money were no object, French brands Chanel (41%) and LV (33%) are the most desired brands among increasingly affluent Chinese consumers, followed closely by the Italian brand Valentino (32%).
For Chinese tourists Europe and North America are the favourite luxury goods destinations – close to three in five (59%) purchase luxury branded goods when they go to Europe and over half (56%) purchase them when they visit North America. On average, Chinese travellers spend US$900 on luxury branded goods when they are overseas.
Across all destinations, spending on luxury goods was highest in Europe, amounting to $1,359 per trip. Industry figures indicate that travellers from mainland China spent close to US$30 billion while abroad in 2007. Collectively that puts China in fifth position in terms of world rankings of international travel expenditure.
“Considering that the aggregate spend in 1995 was less than four billion dollars the 2007 result is nothing short of phenomenal and parallels the growth of the Chinese economy very clearly,” says John Koldowski, Director – Strategic Intelligence Centre, PATA. “According to PATA forecasts outbound travel from China will grow dramatically with many Asia Pacific destinations posting double-digit increases over the next few years. The popular destinations for shopping and sightseeing trips, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong SAR, will see solid gains in Chinese visitor arrivals.”
Dr Pan adds, “The global credit crunch will undoubtedly impact upon travel spending and luxury goods purchases. It is important to gain clarity on rapidly changing marketplace conditions – in particular issues such as pricing and innovation. The Nielsen China Monitor is an extremely effective tool with which to monitor these changes among Chinese consumers.”