Luxury travelers have an average accommodation budget of around 3,800 yuan ($560) per night, while 32 percent have a budget of over 5,000 yuan ($735) per night. Great service is the main point of consideration, while whether or not the room has a good view is another.
The Chinese luxury traveler have an average accommodation budget of around 3,800 yuan per night. There is also a slight 7 percent increase in the accommodation budgets of the Post-80s generation, coming in at around 3,325 yuan ($490) per night. Thirty-two percent of luxury travelers have accommodation budgets of over 5,000 yuan ($735+) per night.
At 49 percent, provision of personalized service is the most important factor for luxury travelers when choosing a hotel. Second to sixth place are all hardware factors that can be divided into requirements for the room itself: a good view (48 percent), clean facilities (44 percent), comfortable bedding (34 percent); and requirements for the hotel as a whole: good location (44 percent) and good style (36 percent). Word of mouth recommendations (17 percent), value for money (15 percent) and membership benefits (10 percent) are of secondary concern to most luxury travelers.
Local cuisine is the most popular style of cuisine: Local dishes (56 percent) are the cuisine of choice for Chinese luxury travelers, followed by Japanese and Cantonese fare with 32 percent and 31 percent respectively. Cuisines that rank in the top ten include French, Italian, and Sichuan, while hotpot and Korean cuisine did not make the list.
Private Dining Facilities are Increasingly Prioritized for Private Banquets and Business Dinners: The percentage of travelers who consider a hotel’s private dining facilities to be important and very important have surpassed those who consider private dining facilities to be unimportant and very unimportant (53 percent. Fort-seven percent of Chinese luxury travelers mainly use a hotel’s private dining facilities to host private banquets (68 percent), business banquets (24 percent), and business dinners (19 percent).
Accommodation sharing still in its early stages of development: Chinese luxury travelers have not been affected by the popularity of accommodation sharing. Private home-stay options like Airbnb are selected by only 25 percent of respondents, trailing behind the boutique hotel (48 percent) and the cruise (45 percent), two much more traditional vacation accommodations. Sixty-nine percent of respondents say they are ambivalent towards or will not explore home-stay options in the next three years.
Air China and Emirates are the most popular domestic and international airlines respectively: When choosing airline memberships, Air China has been an overwhelming favorite (54 percent) for three consecutive years, with China Southern Airlines (22.4 percent) and Cathay Pacific (21.9 percent) coming in after. Among foreign airlines, Emirates and Singapore Airlines both run ahead of the pack at 23 percent and 22 percent respectively.
Customized travel services are experiencing a surge in popularity, with agencies placing a strong emphasis on the quality of travel itineraries to retain customers.
More than half of luxury travelers (58 percent) have experienced customized travel services. Fifty-five percent of travelers report that the provision of such services is why they choose one agency over another.
Luxury travelers are partial to travel agencies that provide well-designed itineraries, personalized services, and are actively problem-solving, placing 59 percent, 55 percent, and 49 percent of the emphasis on each aspect respectively. The emphasis placed on the problem-solving ability of travel agencies has experienced an 11% increase in two years.
The things that respondents felt least satisfied with include poorly-organized itineraries (29 percent), bad food (24 percent), and tour guides not meeting expectations (21 percent).
Hurun Best Outbound Luxury Travel Agencies 2017: Agencies in the “Hurun Mainland China Outbound Luxury Travel Agencies 2017 Top 12” ranking include 8 Continents, Diadema, D-Lux Travel*, CITS Amex, HHtravel, My Tour, Magic Travel, Ctrip, Zanadu, CITS, CTS, and CYTS. (Agency names are listed alphabetically; * denotes newcomers).
Agencies in the “Hurun Hong Kong Outbound Luxury Travel Agencies 2017 Top 6” include Wincastle Travel, Cathay Pacific Holidays, Charlotte Travel*, American Express, Swire Travel, and Westminster. Agencies in the “Hurun Taiwan Outbound Luxury Travel Agencies 2017 Top 6” include One Style Tour*, Seascape Escape, Let’s Travel*, American Express, International Travel Information Services, and Lion Travel. (Agency names are listed alphabetically; * denotes newcomers).
Last year’s most memorable travel destinations: For their most memorable travel destination last year, a staggering 13.5 percent of respondents chose Antarctica, while the United States (7 percent) and Fiji (6 percent) followed. In the past three years, Antarctica has ranked first consistently. Fiji is new to the list and shows the Chinese luxury traveler’s bias towards Island with Beach. Thailand, particularly Phuket, holds a special place in the heart of the Post-80s respondents, surpassing last year’s favorites Japan and France, as their destination of choice. Japan, South Korea and Europe all showed sharp declines among this demographic, as the Post-80s generation look beyond traditional destinations in pursuit of exotic new adventures.
Over a third (37 percent) of respondents experienced their most memorable trip with their family or friends. The average number of travel companions was three. The average number of days spent on this trip was 10. Over a third (37 percent) of respondents do not have pre-planned holidays. Those who plan on travelling during national holidays usually prefer the Chinese New Year holiday (24 percent).
Travelers prefer to fly business class (48 percent). When planning travel itineraries with travel agencies, over half of travelers prefer fine-tuned packages (27 percent) or fully-customizable packages (23 percent). Standard packages fell from 2015’s 37 percent to 26 pecent, as they are increasingly unable to fulfill the needs of luxury travelers, 64 percent of which prefer to decide their travel destination.
Luxury Travellers Like to Buy Cosmetics and Local Specialties: The average luxury traveler has an annual family consumption budget of 1.73 million yuan ($255,000), of which travel expenses take up 22 percent of this total, coming in at around 380,000 yuan ($56,000). On their travels, respondents spend an average of 220,000 yuan ($32,000) shopping.
Chinese luxury travelers like to purchase cosmetics (45 percent), local produce (43 percent), bags and suitcases (39 percent), clothes and accessories (37 percent), and jewelry (34 percent). Other than local produce, the four other most popular purchase categories are all dominated by female consumers. When compared to numbers two years ago, there is a noticeable increase in the percentage of travelers who bought cosmetics. With regard to the purpose of the purchase, 76 percent of purchases are personal, while 47 percent of purchases are gifts, and 4 percent are purchased on the behalf of others.
Travel Products are one of the Most Common Gift Categories Being Given Today: Travel has always been the favorite leisure activity of the high net-worth community, though it has been surpassed once in 2008 by swimming. Travel products are one of the most common gift categories given today. According to the Hurun Research Institute, travel products rank among the top ten when it comes to best gifts for men under 20,000 yuan; among the top five when it comes to best gifts for women under 20,000 yuan; and in second place when it comes to gifts for the elderly, falling just short of health products. (According to the “Hurun Best of the Best – Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2017”)
High Net-Worth Individuals’ Interest in Purchasing Second Homes: In the past year, high net-worth individuals’ interest in purchasing second homes has increased drastically by 60 percent. Over a quarter of respondents prefer to buy second homes in Sanya, while 8 percent of respondents prefer the second-place location of Hangzhou. And 7.7 percent of respondents prefer Yunnan, coming in at third place. There is a marked increase in those who prefer to buy second homes overseas, from last year’s 20% to this year’s 33%. Of the 33%, 15% prefer European locations while 12 percent prefer North American locations. (According to the “Hurun Best of the Best – Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2017”)
Scale of the Chinese high-end consumer market: According to data collected in May of 2016 by the Hurun Research Institute, there are approximately 3,380,000 individuals in mainland China with 6 million yuan ($883,000) in assets. There are approximately 1,340,000 millionaires, 89,000 billionaires, and 57,000 individuals with assets totaling $30 million. As the “2016 Hurun Rich List” reveals, 2,056 individuals have assets valuing 2 billion yuan ($294 million) and above. If the “hidden billionaires” are included, mainland China has around 6,000 individuals with assets totaling 20 billion yuan and above. The “2017 Hurun Global Rich List” shows China surpassing the United States for amount of billionaires for the second time, with 609 individuals owning over a billion USD in assets. Of the 609, 501 are in mainland China, 72 in Hong Kong, 1 in Macau, and 35 in Taiwan. Beijing also surpasses New York City for the second time to become the city with the most billionaire inhabitants. If the “hidden billionaires” are also included, China has around 1,200 billionaires with over a billion U.S. dollars in assets.
Notes on Methodology: Hurun Research Institute carried out the survey between March and May in association with three of China’s leading luxury travel agencies: Diadema, Magic Travel, HHtravel and 8 Continents. The respondents to this survey were drawn from the ranks of China’s high-end tourists, comprised of 334 aggregate samples from 12 mainland Chinese cities, including the first-tier cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, and the second-tier cities Tianjin, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Qingdao, Dalian, and Fuzhou. Respondents average 42 years of age and 41 percent are male, with per capita wealth of nearly 22 million yuan ($32,000). Forty-one percent of them are male. Their wealth mainly comes from investment (49 percent), salary (37 percent) and company ownership (21 percent). Seventy percent of them are married, and half have one child, while 27 percent have two. On average, they have worked or studied abroad for 1.4 years. They were more enthusiastic about shopping on their travels than in 2015, with 220,000 yuan of their average travel budgets of 380,000 yuan devoted to retail therapy, up 57 percent year-on-year.
Hurun Report, ILTM and GHC Asia also partnered to survey the most popular luxury travel agencies for overseas travel. From April to May 2017, senior management from 56 luxury hotels around the world were surveyed and posed the question, “In your opinion, what are the three best Chinese (including the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) travel agencies for overseas travel?”
This survey finds that outbound travel remains popular, with Europe and Southeast Asia being preferred destinations and island holidays being the biggest dark horse in overseas travel trends last year. Resorts were the most popular type of luxury accommodation and had an average cost of nearly 3,800 yuan ($560) per night, with 32 percent of hotels charging more than 5,000 yuan ($735) and 60 percent more than 3000 yuan ($440) per night. The quality of service provided was the most important factor when it came to choosing a hotel. The hotel’s private dining facilities have also received attention, and local cuisine was the most popular style of cuisine in hotel restaurants. Accommodation sharing is still in its infancy in the high-end market, as private home-stay options like Airbnb are only used by 25 percent of respondents. Customized travel services are becoming popular, with agencies placing a strong emphasis on the quality of travel itineraries to retain customers. Luxury travel trends in the next three years show a rise in the adventurous spirit of tourists. The seasons have a significant impact on the choice of destination. Cosmetics, local produce, bags and suitcases, clothes and accessories, and jewelry were the Chinese luxury travelers’ favorite purchases.