The Hurun Institute extensively explores China’s luxury tourism policies, social media trends and future tourism trends in its recently published report The Chinese Luxury Traveler 2015.
The institute is best know for its rich list that reveals China has 1.09 million millionaires, 67,000 billionaires and over 5,000 super rich with over two billion yuan in assets. Last year 1,271 were named in the Hurun Rich List for the first time.
Polar tours the next hottest thing among Chinese elites
The Hurun report on luxury travel reveals that those Chinese luxury travelers who spend over RMB200,000 per capita on travel make an average of four trips abroad for a total of 33 days on average in the past year, according to the report.
Resort holidays and polar exploration are the main theme of luxury travel, drawing 60% and 28% respectively of Chinese luxury travelers, and European and US destinations were the choices of 47% and 40% of the travelers. Southeast Asia and the North and South Poles were also popular destinations drawing over 30% of the travelers.
Antarctica has gained popularity significantly and is named as the most memorable holiday last year and the most visited destination in this year’s Spring Festival. Magnificent natural landscape is the top reason for visiting (49%), followed by unique flora and fauna at 19% and adventure at 17%.
Tour operators play an important role in luxury travel
The report also shows that only 30% of the Chinese luxury travelers’ itineraries are independent travel and around half of hotel bookings are made through tour operators. When choosing a tour operator, they are most concerned with the operator’s ability to provide personalized service and design a well-balanced itinerary (60%), offer unique experiences and itineraries (41%) and provide exclusive offers (36%).
The Peninsula Hotels becomes the favorite of China’s rich
The Peninsula Hotels is the top brand for over half of the well-heeled Chinese travelers who make their own decisions on accommodation choices. Mandarin Oriental follows and is catching up fast.
The Shangri-La Hotels has been Chinese elites’ top choice for 11 years straight but has tumbled to the fifth place this year, while the Marriott and Sofitel brands have risen considerably in prestige.
The Hilton and Marriott hotel member cards are used most often, making up 29% and 26% respectively of total hotel member card usage.
Over half of China’s luxury travelers hold a frequent flyer membership card of gold class or higher. China’s main Star Alliance member, Air China, enjoys dominance in airline membership with 66% of the respondents to the Hurun Report as active Air China members. Chinese jetsetters take business class most often and they name Singapore Airlines’ first and business classes as their favorite.
Tourism retail surging
Europe is considered a duty free shopping paradise, with France leading the pack with 22% of the market followed by Germany at 13%, Britain and Italy both at 12%. Fashion and clothing make up 54% of total international shopping expenditure for Chinese tourists.
Medical Tourism gaining traction
Wealthy Chinese often take medical sabbaticals, and 60% profiled in the Hurun Report having tried medical tourism before. Male respondents express the most interest in medical treatments while female respondents are interested in cosmetic treatments. The Maldives, Bali and the USA are the top three medial tourism destinations this year for wealthy Chinese.(Translation by David)