With China a crucial market for global luxury, brands and retailers need to be alert to shifts in consumer behaviour; Jing Daily identified several trends from the recent Golden Week holiday.

Alongside a slowing economy and a weaker currency, the publication highlighted four in particular.

Travel patterns are shifting

The ongoing protests in Hong Kong dissuaded many from travelling there but there was also a significant jump in domestic travel bookings – a 42% increase on Fliggy, Alibaba’s online travel booking agency – which may reflect the above economic factors and government strategy to boost the domestic economy. Among overseas destinations, Japan saw a 30% increase.

Lower-tier cities are driving growth

Domestic consumption and travel is shifting towards lower-tier cities, thanks to the impact of online influencers and a growing interest in local Chinese cultures. Luxury brands are responding accordingly, opening outlets in Xiamen, Chengdu, Hangzhou among others.

Older consumers are enjoying more leisure travel

Citizens aged over 60 years now account for one-third of the country’s population and have become a major driver of holiday consumption; one study suggests this ‘silver generation’ demographic earmarks 15% of their annual income for travel. They’re also tech-savvy, using their phones to book travel packages online and buy high-end skincare and health packages.

Patriotic factors are increasingly to the fore

A growing preference for domestic brands has accelerated with the country celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Alongside an increase in visits to historically significant locations, such as Yan An, Shi Jia Zhuang and Ji‘an, that attitude has also been reflected in purchase patterns elsewhere during Golden Week, in everything from movie releases to beauty and alcohol brands.

While several international brands have recently had to apologise for upsetting local political sensitivities, others have demonstrated greater awareness, as many luxury brands and retailers launched special products or campaigns that celebrated China’s 70th anniversary.

Sourced from Jing Daily; additional content by WARC staff