Chinese travelers are taking the travel world by storm. In fact, it’s estimated that 100 million Chinese will become global travellers by 2015 (ABC).

And because they are the top tourism spenders around, it’s in every tour operator’s best interest to understand and attempt to tap into this lucrative market.

Here’s some new industry research about Chinese travelers that we thought you might be interested in.

A growing middle class

Eye for Travel reports that the economy in China has grown rapidly, resulting in disposable income quadrupling over the past few years. The Chinese are becoming more wealthy, with a growing middle class that will reach 250 million by 2029.

The emerging middle class are coming from multiple markets – no longer just the main metropolitan cities. ChinaContact identify the following personas:

Mid & High-Level Positions in MNCs

These people are educated, with multiple degrees (including Western ones). They are relatively proficient in English and other languages. They often own property abroad, and have foreign passport and residency permits that make it easier for them to travel.

Private Business Owners

Coming from the main metropolitan cities, their wealth is relatively new (accumulated in the last 30 years due to privatisation). They’re your millennials who are good with technology, working in mainly high tech IT and energy sectors.

Noveau Riche

These guys are not from the metropolitan cities. They’re slightly older, and are self-made from industrialisation, mining, and trading sectors. They enjoy spending their money on status and showing that they have made it. Typically, their English is not fluent, and they rely on an assistant to thelp them. They have strong political connections in the small cities they are from.

The 2nd Generation

They are born into wealth, their parents often being government officials. They attended university abroad, and are heavily influenced by their parents because of their reliance on them for financial stability. They grew up with and expect luxury.

Aspirational Business Class

This demographic are middle management, white collar workers. They start off their travels in Asia, then may book long-haul destinations. They tend to book by themselves, and even if they book through agents, they will do so after extensive online research.

New trends to watch

In China, several trends are becoming apparent:

  • Health and wellness. Chinese travelers are more interested in health, and you should emphasise the health benefits of your tours in your marketing materials.
  • Eco-tourism. People living in metropolitan China are bothered by the pollution and congestion they experience in their hometowns. They want to be in a natural setting with fresh air.
  • Indulgences. Travelers from China enjoy spending money on food, souvenirs, and experiences. As long as you gain their trust (both digitally and on-site), they will be prepared to purchase.

Of course, what they’re interested in may depend on their age group. Read the full post to see a list of age group personas.

Online presence is everything

Like everyone else around the globe, the internet is the main source of research & bookings. The only difference is that Baidu is their Google, and that Daodao is their TripAdvisor.

So how do Australian tour operators stack up? Tourism Research Australia found that while the majority of you have a website, there are still 20% of tourism providers who have no website at all. This is a big mistake!

According to John Kester, Programme Manager at the United Nations WTO (World Tourism Organisation), “When any Chinese tourist, even if it’s an individual traveler or a tour group, is looking to go anywhere, they would go online.”

“Even if it is to look at the destination or the hotel or the attraction websites, or looking at social media, (to know) what have other people experienced.”

If you’re one of the few that don’t have a website yet, you can still create a hosted booking form with Rezdy’s tour booking software and use that as your main site.

  • Fill it with a list of your products with photographs and descriptions
  • Start taking online bookings immediately!

Rezdy supports the Chinese language (traditional & simplified), so you can start capturing your share of the Chinese traveler market. Sign up for a free trial below to get started:

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