In the year ending May 2015, half of all Chinese outbound travelers used their mobile phones to plan and book trips, compared with just 17 percent the previous year.
The above is just one of the findings to come out of the closely followed Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM). Now in its fourth iteration, the 2015 CITM, produced by Hotels.com, which came out a week ago, is filled with data, trends and results used by tour and traveler marketers and researchers. Following are highlights from the report, which involved surveys of Chinese consumers as well as hoteliers worldwide.
Overall—Millennials are Changing the Averages: Twenty-five to 34-year-olds are expected to make up 35 percent of the estimated 174 million Chinese outbound tourists who are anticipated to spend $264 billion by 2019.
Gen Y travelers , i.e. “Millennials” aged 18 to 35—are making more international trips, according to hoteliers surveyed, and, as they become more affluent, they’re becoming better informed.
- 91 percent consult price comparison websites when researching their trip,
- 55 percent use loyalty program points for accommodation (compared with 47 percent of all travelers surveyed.)
- Most respondents eschew travel agents and the landline phone, preferring some form of digital device to book and plan.
- Travel bookings via mobile phones are soaring—Half of all Chinese outbound travelers (and 61 percent of Millennials) refer to their mobile phones to plan and book trips, compared with just 17 percent the previous year.
Millennials’ Main Reasons for Traveling Abroad
|Reason for Travel||Percentage|
|3. Visiting friends and relatives||17%|
|6. Beauty treatment/Cosmetic surgery||6%|
|7. Medical well-being||5%|
|8. Participation in Charity/NGO projects||4%|
|9. Job opportunities||3%|
|10. Buying property||3%|
Spending by Chinese Travelers:
Luxury Segment Rules
|Segment||Average Daily Spend|
|Total (All Travelers)||$536|
|Top 10% of Travelers||$2,225|
|Top 5% of Travelers||$3,368|
Where They Want to Go & Where They Go
Or The Wish List vs. Real Choices
|Rank||Wish List Destination||Destination Actually Visited|
Amenities: What They Most
Prefer as Hotel Guest
|Kettle for Tea||31%|
|Translated Travel/Tourism Guides||21%|
|In-House Mandarin Speaking Staff||20%|
|China Union Pay facilities||18%|
Top Overseas Destinations by Number of Searches during
Jan-May 2015 on the Hotels.Com Chinese Website
|Destination & Ran||Destination & Rank|
|1. Hong Kong||11. New York|
|2. Taipei||12. Las Vegas|
|3. Bangkok||13. Kyoto|
|4. Seoul||14. Macau|
|5. Phuket||15. Koh Samui|
|6. Tokyo||16. London|
|7. Osaka||17. Los Angeles|
|8. Chiang Mai||18. San Francisco|
|9. Singapore||19. Kuala Lumpur|
|10. Paris||20. Jeju|
Millennials’ Most Favored Activities When Traveling
|4. Visiting Resorts/Beaches||31%|
|5. Taking Part in Eco-tours||20%|
More than 640 million people in China are “wired.” The use of mobile phones for planning and booking has skyrocketed in the past 12 months, 80 percent of travelers have used an online source including mobiles, desktops and laptops to book and plan their travel, compared with only 53 percent last year.
Methods Used as Source for Travel Arrangements
|Activity||CITM 2014||CITM 2015|
|Travelers who have used online source over past 12 months||53%||80%|
|Used smartphone apps to plan and book travel||17%||50%|
|Used land line for making travel arrangements||12%||13%|
|Used a travel agent via phone call or physical visit||34%||13%|
A Note on the methodology: The research was conducted during May 2015 using an online methodology, with a sample of 3,074 eligible respondents across China. Minimum thresholds were set on key demographics such as age, gender and region to ensure a representative sample that would allow analysis of sub-groups. The questionnaire covered topics including, but not limited to, travel behavior, booking methods and accommodation choices.
For the opinion of hoteliers, Hotels.com carried out a global survey of more than 1,500 Hotels.com hotel partners during May 2015. Responses were received from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the USA.