The Rich Travel Differently Than Most Chinese Travelers: The average total daily spend of all travelers surveyed in this year’s Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) was $536 (including accommodation). However, the CITM survey responses of the top 10 percent of travel spenders reveal the most surprising results and point to the growing financial impact of China’s wealthiest consumers, who make a disproportionally high contribution to travel spending totals. These top-tier travelers pay an average of $2,225 a day for hotels and other expenses –$439 on hotels alone – while the top 5 percent spent $3,368 a day, a figure that includes $575 a day on hotels.
Most Are from the Same “Neighborhood”—Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of the top 10 percent are from the bigger “Tier 1” cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen where people typically earn more than elsewhere. The top 10 spenders’ main reasons for traveling abroad in the past year include leisure, cited by 92 percent, and business, reported by 59 percent. Twenty-three percent go on cruises and the same percentage visited friends or relatives. One in eight (12 percent) have beauty treatments or cosmetic surgery, and 9 percent travel for medical reasons or wellbeing (i.e. spa treatments) purposes.
The Chinese Luxury Traveler:
Favorite Activities & Pastimes When Traveling†
|Activity||Top 10 percent spenders||Top 5 percent spenders|
|Taking part in eco-tours||19%||15%|
|Organized local tours||14%||14%|
|Watching sports events||5%||6%|
|Visiting rural pursuits||4%||3%|
|Taking part in sports||2%||3%|
Source: CITM 2015
Which Countries do the Wealthiest Chinese Travelers Want to Visit? While the USA is the de facto number one choice of all Chinese travelers—even if they might long to visit elsewhere—it ranks substantially below Australia and France as an intended destination in the coming year for wealthy Chinese travelers.
Top 10 Countries that the Wealthiest Chinese Travelers
Intend to Visit in the Next 12 Months†
Source: CITM 2015
- Smile! According to Hotels.com, 12 percent of Chinese respondents said they always greet fellow guests on a hotel elevator, but 35 percent only greet guests on an elevator if they look friendly and smile.
- Tea etiquette: Always serve yourself last when pouring tea – start with the eldest person at the table first. To show appreciation for someone pouring your tea, tap two fingers on the table.
- Where’s #4?In China, you will never see a hotel or building with a 4th floor. The number four is considered bad luck, as it has similar pronunciation to the word “death.”
- Elevator etiquette: Only 24 percent of people admit to having passed gas in an elevator, but it’s more common in certain APAC countries according to a Hotels.com survey, which found that 28 percent of Chinese respondents admitted to doing so on an elevator.
- Yes or No?It is traditional to refuse something at least once, as it is a sign of politeness. So when someone offers you the last bite of fish, you’re expected to refuse once or twice to seem humbled by the offer.
- Cheers!Toasts are made by holding a glass with two hands.
- Close talkers: In China, personal space is minimal or nonexistent. Be prepared for some close proximity on trains, stores and elevators.
- Punctuality: Timeliness is synonymous with respect. Be on time or early for tours, hotel check-out and dinner reservations.
† (A note on the methodology: The CITM 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.)