Industry Update
Performance16 May 2018

Chinese Tourists Account For 21% Of Global Travel Spending in 2018

How luxury brands adapt their strategy to appeal to the new affluent Chinese tourists

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Luxe Digital - Luxury Insights, Digital Lens

Revenue generated by outbound tourism from China continues to grow in 2018. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) found that spending from Chinese tourists abroad now makes up 21% of all tourism spending. In addition, each Chinese traveller spends on average more per trip than tourists from any other country.

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The impact of Chinese tourists on the luxury industry is thus remarkable. Retailers, hotels, restaurants and travel brands all need to adapt their products and services if they want to appeal to this new market segment.

In a new report, Luxe Digital identifies four essential trends shaping the luxury Chinese tourism abroad. Luxury leaders and marketing managers need to understand these new trends in order to develop new strategies to attract and engage with their Chinese consumers.

Four critical trends shaping the Chinese tourism segment

First, the profile of the Chinese traveller is changing. Where Chinese tourists used to be mostly travelling with organized tours, 60% of Chinese tourists are now travelling by themselves. They are increasingly female and younger travellers as well.

Second, the new Chinese tourists are very digital-savvy and have very high expectations when it comes to accessing relevant information online. They will search on your website of course, but also on WeChat and social media to find recommendations from their friends and key opinion leaders about your brand.

Third, Chinese tourists still mostly favor shopping above everything else. While tourists from other countries prioritise accommodation and dining, Chinese travellers will spend 25% of their budget to shopping alone.

Fourth, Chinese tourists are now coming from different cities and regions within China. New cities are emerging as large urban centers with a growing affluent population. This new middle-class is eager to explore the world and shop abroad.

How luxury brands can win over to the new Chinese travellers

As the number of outbound tourists from China will continue to grow in the coming years, luxury brands who want to win over this market segment will need to adapt their strategy. They should tailor their services to capture the new affluent spenders from China.

Marketers should pay close attention to both the planning and the travelling of their consumers' journey. Luxe Digital found indeed that affluent Chinese travellers will plan their vacations in great details before leaving China. They will plan to the minute the time that they can dedicate to various activities and already know in advance which restaurant they will eat at or which items they will purchase.

Modern Chinese travellers are above all else attracted by an international lifestyle. Luxury brands need to speak their language if they don't want to miss the opportunity.

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