Chinese luxury travel spend is up

5 June 2013
BEIJING: Chinese luxury travellers are cutting down the number of overseas excursions they make but are spending more each time, according to a new report.

The Chinese Luxury Traveller, from Hurun Report, the publishing group, and ILTM Asia, the luxury travel event organiser, surveyed 100 high net-worth individuals as it sought to evaluate their consumption patterns and travel habits, as well as gathering B2B data from travel agencies and hotels.

It found that the number of annual overseas trips for Chinese luxury travellers was down from 3.2 in 2012 to 2.8 in 2013. Among the super-rich the number was higher at 3.4 but this had fallen from 4.2 the previous year.

Shopping expenditure on these trips was more than for any other nationality, averaging €875 per trip, up 8% on the previous year and 70% more than the global average.

About 43% of wealthy Chinese spend more than $5,000 per trip, excluding flights, with 11% spending an average of $10,000, the report stated.

Jiang Yiyi, director of the Chinese Tourism Academy's International Tourism Development Institute, told China Daily that Chinese travellers were encouraged to spend outside the country because luxury brands cost anywhere between 30% and 70% more if bought in China.

Gifting was the main factor driving Chinese travel shopping, with a watch considered the ideal gift for men (28%), followed by red wine (26%).

Jewellery was the runaway gift choice for women, accounting for 58% of responses, followed by clothing at 25%.

In addition, Chinese luxury travellers are going overseas in smaller groups, most often in a group of three to ten people. Only 16% of tour groups were larger than ten people.

The preferred international luxury destinations included France, cited by 34%, the US (33.8%), and Singapore (26.5%). Overall, half the top ten were European countries, with Switzerland (23.1%), the UK (22.2%), Italy (20.9%), and Germany (16.2%) also featuring.

Other favoured destinations were Australia (19.4%), Dubai (17.1%) and the Maldives (13.9%).

The internet and magazines were the most important media channels for seeking out travel information, while the most important factor when choosing a hotel was the location and brand. Shangri-La and Hilton were the most popular.

Data sourced from China Daily, Hurun Report; additonal content by Warc staff
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