Welcome to this week’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
A report released last week by Hotels.com last week highlighted the massive opportunities for Australian tourism and hospitality operators if they can successfully cater to Chinese tourists. The report was based off surveys with over 3000 Chinese who had travelled abroad in the previous 12 months, as well as 5800 of Hotels.com’s accommodation partners. Once again, Australia was the top destination on Chinese tourists’ wishlists, with 15% of the sample saying that Australia was the country they most wanted to visit over the next 12 months. Below are few of the other key findings of the report:
- Online travel agents dominate hotel bookings: Online travel agents (OTAs) are now by far the most common way that Chinese tourists book their hotel, with 74% respondents using them. Only 16% make direct bookings with hotels and just 10% of Chinese tourists book via a traditional bricks-and-mortar travel agent. In this context, it is particularly important for hotel owners to have a great online reputation and manage their Chinese language reviews.
- Independent travellers now outnumber group package tourists: 49% of respondents said they had travelled independently, 40% had travelled with a group and 40% indicated they had participated in some hybrid semi-packaged tour. Independent travellers require more assistance from local operators as they don’t have a Chinese tour guide doing everything for them – are you ready to help them?
- OTAs and friends and colleagues are the top sources of travel information: 44% of survey respondents used an OTA to research their travel, and the same percentage of people also relied on information from friends and colleagues. Travel guides and online review sites were the next most popular sources of travel info.
- Increase in spending despite economic slowdown: 92% of respondents indicated they were planning to increase or maintain spending on travel in the next 12 months. This reflects the growing feeling among Chinese consumers that international travel is “an essential part of life” – and jitters over the economy won’t change that feeling.
There is lots of great information contained in the report and I would highly recommend you have a full read of it. It is available here for download.
- Australia to score as China tourists spend more: A good summary of the report referred to above. The article notes that hoteliers should avoid taking a one-size-fits-all approach to attracting Chinese visitors – advice we couldn’t agree more with!
- Could Australia be a destination for Chinese medical tourists? Coyiu, a start-up backed by the CSIRO thinks so – and has partnered up with SunWo Medical Management, a Chinese medical service provider, to help turn online medical opinions into Chinese medical tourists coming to Australia.
- Alibaba a portal for Australia to China’s new consumers: Alibaba opening an Australian office is significant – retailers here now have a direct link to the Chinese middle class consumer.
- Study: China’s Luxury Travelers Value Experience Over Shopping:When wealthy Chinese travelers head abroad, they’re prioritizing experiential luxury such as dining and seeking out unique cultural activities, but shopping still fits in big to their travel plans.
- Chinese middle-class consumers prefer travel experiences to possessions: In interviews with 100 Chinese visitors to Shanghai Disneyland, 70% of respondents said that they wanted to travel more, and a surprising number indicated they had no particular interest in purchasing more things.
- 132 international air routes launched in China in Q2, 60% in lower tier cities: Reflecting the growth in popularity of flying in China, 132 new routes were approved by China’s aviation body between April and June this year. 60% of the routes were linked to Japan and South Korea.
- Dalian Wanda’s New ‘7-Star’ Hotel Shows Bling is Alive in the China Market: There are five-star hotels, and then there are “seven-star hotels”, such as the new one opened by Dalian Wanda in Shanghai. Dalian Wanda is also behind “The Jewel”, currently being constructed on the Gold Coast.