- Posted by Christopher Ledsham
- On 2nd June 2016
- adventure, FITs, HNWI, luxury tourism, survey, wealth
A 2016 report on Chinese luxury tourists has shown a growing shift towards “adventure” travel as China’s young, wealthy elite are seeking to make more unique trips in increasingly distant and diverse locations.
The report, published on May 30th, surveyed 525 Chinese luxury travellers between the ages of 18 and 36 with an average personal wealth of RMB 38.8 million or USD 5.8 million, thereby placing them in the highest echelons of Chinese society. The report established that the average household spend on tourism amongst this demographic was USD 65,000 per annum, with USD 34,000 of this total being attributed to the purchased of luxury goods while overseas and a nightly accommodation budget of USD 500. Furthermore, of the respondents surveyed, 55% were male, 77% were married and, of that group, 75% had one child.
One of the key trends revealed in the report was the decline in conventional leisure travel as a motivation for travelling, dropping from 82% in 2015 to 68% this year. This was, however, offset by year-on-year rises in cited reasons such as: exploring the world, which grew from 40% to 50%, adventure travel (23% to 35%) and cruises (26% to 28%).
In line with the growth in demand for exclusive “adventures”, the Polar regions are becoming particularly sought-after destinations for China’s luxury travellers, with 10% of survey respondents revealing that they had travelled to the Arctic or Antarctic in the past year and a further 17% stating that they would like to visit in the near future.
Other exotic long-haul destinations such Africa and the Middle East were reported to be regions that 23% and 18% of respondents respectively aspired to visit in the coming three years, although both had only been visited by 8% of surveyed travellers over the preceding 12 months.
Predictably, this growing wanderlust has meant that some regional destinations are losing their appeal for this increasingly-experienced traveller group. The proportion of luxury Chinese tourists planning on visiting Hong Kong, Taiwan or Macau fell from 32% in 2015 to 19% this year, while the Southeast and South Asia regions saw their share decrease from 34% to 24% over the same period.
Nevertheless, the chief researcher and chairman of the report did not regard this development as necessarily damaging for all regional Asian destinations, explaining that: “In terms of frequency of travel, there is still going to be the trips to Japan, South Korea, South-east Asia, etc., because of the geographical advantage – four hours and you’re there.” Picking up on the report’s finding that Chinese luxury tourists would continue to travel frequently, typically every three to four months, he added: “So I see they will travel two or three times within Asia and long-haul becomes the annual trip. It’s not really a threat to Asian destinations but a demonstration of young Chinese travellers wanting to go further afield.”
Chinese outbound travellers are benefitting from increased numbers of direct flights from Mainland China to a wider range of worldwide destinations, as well as being offered multiple entry visas, or visas upon arrival, by a number of countries. As ever more-experienced Chinese outbound travellers continue to seek out new destinations, streamlined visa policies are being frequently adopted by a number of locations aiming to attract repeat visits by Chinese nationals, who have gained a reputation of being “disloyal” tourists who seldom visit foreign countries more than once.
Following the United States’ announcement of ten-year multiple-entry visas for Chinese nationals in 2014, the United Kingdom followed suit in 2015 by offering a two-year multiple-entry scheme for Chinese visitors – which the British government hopes to extend to a validity of ten years. Japan and Australia have also announced similar plans in 2016 as both countries seek to encourage closer political and economic ties with China.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute provides expert insights into the worldwide developments of China’s outbound tourism market. As Chinese outbound tourists are travelling to a large range of destinations, our publications cover a number of different regions. Important Chinese visitor activities are analysed, and detailed insights are presented.
With COTRI’s insights you can create a successful business strategy with in-depth market insights, comprehensive qualitative analyses, and future prospects. The recently published Spring 2016 Edition of the COTRI Market Report features in-depth analysis of the developing trends in Chinese outbound tourism, supported by a wealth of qualitative and quantitative statistical research.