Flashy luxury hotels are a thing of the past for Wealthy Chinese outbound travelers coming to the United States. According to a survey of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club, 82% of the most affluent Chinese frequent outbound travelers prefer authentic travel experiences in the United States, such as road trips, versus old fashioned luxury experiences. Exotic sport cars are now too much the sign of new money, and don’t carry the sophistication that the new generation of Chinese travelers want to project, and differentiate from their parents.
Colorado and Nevada seem to be the big winners as they are described as the two favorite states for road trips by 67% of Chinese travelers.
As a growing part of China’s Elite is immigrating to the United States, through business investments programs such as the EB5, they are more and more eager to embrace American culture, values, and way of thinking.
Too bad for American brands who naively thought they could lure Chinese tourists with fake “Chinese style” restaurants, hotels, or chinese symbols on luxury goods. Now, most of Chinese travelers want to wear made in Texas cowboy boots rather than buying a handbag from a U.S. designer with a chinese symbol on it.
It’s time for an awakening for the entire U.S. travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Authenticity sells. Real American values and brands sells. Stop thinking about Chinese tourists as Chinese. They are individuals who have chosen to come to the U.S. and discover its culture. And what better way to achieve this than a good old road trip?
“We have seen in the past months huge changes in the way Chinese outbound travelers consume travel & cultural media. Chinese frequent overseas travelers are shifting from Chinese networks (Weibo, WeChat, Youku…) to YouTube and Instagram as source of information and inspiration for their upcoming travels to America” said Pierre Gervois, Executive Producer of Legit Productions, a New York City based production company producing travel shows such as “Legit City” and political interviews “The Face of America”.
Gervois added “U.S. Travel and tourism industries need to quickly grasp these trends and adjust their strategies to reach their millennial Chinese customers, increasingly fluent in English, seeking authentic information in U.S.-produced media content, rather than in Chinese produced content in Mandarin, as their parents used to watch.”
It’s no surprise that the upcoming project Americart2019, a road trip across America at the initiative of visual artist EFDLT Studio is already gaining interest from Chinese and international travelers interested in understanding cultural trends in the United States.
In August 2019, the artist will embark in a month long road trip across America with a camera crew and will engage a dialogue with everyday Americans (as well as immigrants) she’ll meet on the road about their personal relation with art. Following her trip, a six episode series will be produced for streaming platforms as well as a documentary film in Q1 2020. A great source of inspiration for international experiential and cultural travelers.