The Hurun Research Institute has released The Chinese Luxury Travel White Paper, giving insight into the preferences of China's luxury consumers.
The study, which was created from one-on-one interviews with 463 Chinese millionaires and billionaires, sheds new light onto how the wealthiest Chinese make travel decisions.
I found several details to particularly interesting, including:
- Chinese millionaires average 15 days of vacation annually, including three trips abroad. One-third will take more than 20 days of vacation per year and 20% will travel abroad five or more every year.
- France is now the top travel destination, followed by the United State (which had been #1 in 2009 and 2010), Australia, Japan, and the Maldives.
- 4 out of 5 millionaires consider sending their children overseas for education, with the US, UK and Canada topping the list.
- 80% of Chinese millionaires prefer to travel on their own rather than with a tour group.
- 57% of the ultra-wealthy make their own travel arrgangements using a travel agent or professional website.
- Only 11% of Chinese millionaires book travel through a hotel website.
- When choosing where to stay, brand is the most important factor, followed by service, facilities, and location.
- The preferred hotel brands of Chinese millionaires are Shangri-La, Hilton, Park Hyatt and The Ritz-Carlton.
For US hotel companies seeking to gain a toe-hold in the Asian travel market, this study gives actionable insight in how to market to ultra-wealthy Chinese.
For example, with such a large number of Chinese considering an overseas education for their children, do you think proximity to major universities would be a consideration for the guest? If so, do your professional travel agents have a list of area universities? Is this information detailed on the top-performing international travel websites?
With such a high percentage of millionaires preferring to travel without a group, is your hotel prepared to host a single Chinese family? Without a group guide as a primary communicator for the guests, are your facilities and staff prepared to service a Chinese guest? For example, do you have community maps and guides printed in simplified Chinese? Are your restaurant and in-room dining menus availble in multiple languages? Do you provide multiple Mandarin television channels? Do you provide currency exhange services?
I think this study is truly fasciniating. Hotels and brands that implement these insights in their service standards and marketing stand to gain marketshare in this rapidly emerging market.