DALLAS — Chinese travellers continue to take the world by storm, with their numbers up 20 per cent to 107 million in 2014, according to Hotels.com. They’re also younger, more independent-minded, tech-savvy — and increasingly cashed-up.
But where are they headed? According to the survey, Australia, Japan and France are Chinese tourists’ most desired destinations to visit in the next 12 months.
Surveying more than 3,000 Chinese international travellers and 1,500 hoteliers from around the world, the annual Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) examines the growth trends in mainland Chinese international travellers and the impact this is having on the global travel industry.
In four years time, outbound Chinese travellers could number around 174 million, spending about $342 billion CDN annually, according to forecasts.
In 2015, Chinese travellers on average are shelling out 3,324 RMB ($653 CDN), including accommodation, each day, when overseas. In addition, Hotels.com reported that Chinese travellers were the seventh biggest spenders on hotel accommodations in Canada in 2014.
According to 2015 searches on Hotels.com from greater China, the most visited destinations in Canada were Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, followed by Markham, Ont.; Banff, Alta.; Niagara Falls, Ont.; Calgary, Victoria and Whistler, B.C.
“This year’s report is another wake-up call to host countries around the world to pull out all the stops to accommodate Chinese travellers and tailor their services for this market, as the potential is huge,” said Abhiram Chowdhry, vice-president and managing director, Asia Pacific, for Hotels.com.
“The services deemed most important to Chinese guests revolved around the language barriers they faced,” said Taylor Cole, director, public relations, Hotels.com North America, citing CITM information. “Having staff fluent in Chinese dialects like Mandarin is important, as well as fluent tour guides and Chinese written communications, including the hotel website. A Chinese restaurant at the hotel was the most important food and beverage request, and the option to watch Chinese programming was most important for the in-room experience.”
The CITM also found that in the past 12 months, 80 per cent of Chinese travellers have used online devices, including mobile, desktop and laptops, to plan and book travel, compared with only 53 per cent last year. Half of all Chinese international travellers now use apps on their smartphones to plan and book trips, up from just 17 per cent the year prior.
In addition, the CITM identifies the growing influence of millennials aged 18 to 35. Fifty-nine per cent of hoteliers surveyed say they’ve experienced an increase in Chinese guests aged 35 or under in the past year. The growth is especially strong in the Asia Pacific region, where 78 per cent of hoteliers reported an increase.