How luxury brands can attract affluent Chinese travelers.?


Chinese international tourism continues to grow. Retailers, but also luxury hotels, restaurants and travel agencies must adjust their offer and marketing strategy to interact with an affluent Chinese audience whose buying behaviors are driven by different expectations.

In this report, Luxe Digital explores the current state of affairs with an in-depth analysis of the China Outbound Travel Market . We then discuss the top 4 most important trends that are changing the nature of Chinese consumers traveling abroad. Finally, we conclude with a practical guide for luxury brands to engage with their wealthy Chinese customers .

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You will understand who affluent Chinese travelers are and why they are important to your business. You will also discover how to adapt your sales and marketing strategy to take advantage of the huge opportunity that international Chinese tourism represents.

Chinese tourists are the most powerful source of change in the tourism industry. – Taleb

Rifai, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

The Growing Impact of Chinese Tourism Around the World: Why Luxury Brands Care Deeply About Their Chinese Tourist Consumers

Chinese tourists now constitute the majority of outbound international travellers. Moreover, each Chinese traveler spends on average more per trip than travelers of any other nationality.

Affluent Chinese tourists are the world’s top luxury consumers

In 2021-2022, Chinese tourists spent $274 billion on outbound trips according to the International Association of Tour Operators. [1] This amount represents an increase of 5% compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the total number of trips made by Chinese tourists in 2021-2022 reached 130 million, an increase of 7% from the 122 million trips made by Chinese travelers in 2016. [2]

Furthermore, affluent tourists from mainland China continue to spend more abroad than tourists from any other country in the world . A study by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) found that Chinese tourists spent on average twice as much as, for example, their counterparts from the United States abroad. [3]

International tourism spending by Chinese tourists accounts for 21 percent of total tourism spending worldwide, according to the same report.

The potential of the Chinese market is much greater because only 6% of Chinese have a passport. We therefore expect 200 million Chinese to travel abroad in just a few years. – Taleb

Rifai, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

The contribution of Chinese outbound tourists to the total number of outbound travelers in the world will only accelerate in the coming years. China is considered the fastest growing tourism market in the world, in an industry that the UNWTO predicts will exceed 1.8 billion international travelers as a whole by 2030. [4]

A few winning destinations attract the majority of Chinese tourists

Thailand and Japan remain the two favorite destinations for travelers from China. In 2021-2022, Thailand received 9.8 million tourists from mainland China, accounting for 28% of its total inbound tourism. Japan, on the other hand, attracted 7.35 million Chinese travelers, or 25.6% of its total inbound tourism.

Top 10 travel destinations for Chinese tourists abroad in 2021-2022 (est.):

With new air connections, fewer visa restrictions and better exchange rates, other destinations are growing fast. This is particularly the case for emerging markets in the Mediterranean region, such as Morocco, Turkey and Tunisia.

Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, United Arab Emirates, England, Netherlands and Iceland are also among the top 10 fastest growing destinations for Chinese tourists in 2021- 2022.

Interestingly, the number of countries that allow Chinese citizens to enter without a visa or with a visa on arrival (VOA) has increased to 66 in recent months. Twelve of these countries now have a mutual visa waiver agreement with China. Fifteen other of these countries have authorized the unilateral visa waiver. The remaining 39 countries have allowed unilateral visa on arrival. [5] Competition between countries to attract Chinese tourists is undoubtedly intensifying.

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