Hotels, airlines and other tourism businesses can take advantage from very rich mainland Chinese who regularly holiday overseas, it represents the most exciting opportunity for the international travel industry, however Asia to be the main beneficiary.
There are over 1 million Chinese Luxury Tourists (CLTs), who fly first or business class, stay at four or five star hotels, shop for leading brands and dine in the best restaurants.
Chinese tourists are big spenders, they are travelling more and seeking new venues.
Traditionally, CLTs have holidayed mainly in Asia but are beginning to look further afield to Europe, the USA, Middle East and Australia.
A major new report by Market Probe Asia-Pacific identifies how travel companies – hotels, airlines, airports, tourist authorities, retailers, restaurants, etc. – can take advantage of the CLT opportunity.
A key finding is that only a small proportion of CLTs aim to travel outside Asia, so Tourist Authorities in other parts of the world will need to aggressively promote their “products” in China.
US Hotel companies are very strong in China; four of the top five brands are American. The top airline brands, however, are mainly Asian.
Key Findings Include:
• Many CLTs are “last minute” holiday makers, they plan and book late
• There is no seasonality – CLTs holiday throughout the year
• They prefer international airlines to domestic carriers
• They are looking for safe, stable, healthy destinations – with good shopping
• At present, Asian countries are their main destinations; this is changing and Europe and US are becoming more important
• CLTs have their own distinct needs on food and drink language, type and level of customer service, shopping, sightseeing, etc.
• The Internet and Social Media are vitally important for CLTs
• Shangri-La, Sheraton and Hilton are their preferred Hotel brands
2010 Survey of CLTs
Market Probe Asia-Pacific has recently completed a major survey among CLTs, interviewing 300 respondents based in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
For the first time, in-depth information is available on this most valuable target market and is essential reading for any travel company wishing to attract rich Chinese travelers.
The report shows that CLTs are a distinct market, with their own special attitudes and requirements when traveling overseas, and to take advantage of this massive opportunity, the travel industry will need to fully understand these tourists and ensure they are offering the appropriate type and level of service and products.
They will also have to ensure they are promoting appropriate marketing messages through the most effective media, such as luxury lifestyle magazines (Target, Noblesse…) or luxury travel club magazines, such as the Shanghai Travelers’ Club.
The report shows clearly how Airlines, Airports, Hotels, Credit Card Companies, Shops, Restaurants and Tourist Boards can most effectively cater to CLTs, ensuring they provide the optimum level and type of service that Chinese travelers need and expect.
The survey also shows how travel companies can attract CLTs by identifying (i) the important sources of information that CLTs use when planning their overseas holidays and (ii) the marketing methods and messages they see as most effective.
The survey explores in-depth CLTs’ use of the Internet and Social Media when planning foreign holidays.
Chinese Luxury Tourists are defined as follows:
Travel Patterns: 96% first/business air travel, 99% stay in four or five star hotels overseas.
Wealth: 97% own at least one property, 84% own a luxury car, 87% own luxury leather goods, 76% own stocks & bonds, 67% own a luxury watch.