Globetrender has published a new report called China Next: The Future of Luxury Tourism, in association with TONG, the UK’s leading cross-cultural consultancy and creative agency with an exclusive focus on China.
Wealthy Chinese travellers are ready to spend – when the rest of the world is prepared to welcome them.
Globetrender’s latest report, China Next: The Future of Luxury Tourism, reveals ten trends shaping the future of travel for China’s elite, with insights into how foreign countries and companies can better engage with them amid a climate of increased hostility and mistrust.
The free 47-page report sets out to provide a better understanding of the Chinese luxury traveller. Trends include: Bespoke Tours, Rural Hideaways and Heightened Xenophobia.
Unfortunately, with reports of anti-Chinese sentiment rife, Globetrender believes it is going to take a co-ordinated and reassuring campaign (not to mention border openings) to win back this important market, which is still suffering a perception problem from being the source of the Covid-19 virus.
Pre-Covid, Chinese travel was growing rapidly. Chinese travellers made 150 million trips in 2018, spending US$277.3 billion – in 2019 that figure rose to US$361.9 billion. Although domestic travel is back to pre-pandemic levels, it still has a long way to go in terms of international tourism – both inbound and outbound.
China Next: The Future of Luxury Tourism highlights the importance of China within a complicated global landscape and gets behind the headlines with data explorations, deep dive features and case studies on companies such as WeChat.
There are also interviews with both luxury travellers themselves and industry experts including Wolfgang Georg Arlt, CEO of China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, and Roland Fasel, the chief operating officer of Aman.
Jenny Southan, editor and founder of Globetrender, says: “Regardless of the pandemic, the sentiments and habits of wealthy Chinese travellers have been changing, with an observed shift to more experiential and less retail-focused trips, especially among younger people.
“As the crisis unfolds, we will see a number of trends emerging and accelerating. First and foremost will be domestic travel within China, which has previously not been seen as being as desirable or prestigious as going abroad.
“To move forward and rebuild, the travel industry must find ways to entice Chinese travellers back and generate confidence. A big part of this will come down to understanding who these high-income individuals are, how they have been changed by the pandemic and what they are looking for from travel.
“It’s also important to remember that the politics of a country can and must be separated from its citizens, and that travel is ultimately a force for good.”
Adam Knight, co-founder of TONG, says: “TONG is delighted to be partnering with Globetrender on their latest trend forecasting report, exploring the importance of China in luxury tourism and the country’s future innovations for the tourism market in a post-pandemic world.
“Covid-19 has shifted the balance of global luxury purchasing power ever more firmly in China’s favour. The country’s retail and tourism spend has become an invaluable lifeline for the travel industry, both at home and – over the coming years – abroad.
“In the domestic space, a new crop of spectacular, ultra-luxury hotels and experiences are rapidly emerging to meet the ever-demanding needs of China’s new generation of travellers. China’s adaptable and fluid market is also the home of the cash-free economy.
“Platforms such as WeChat and Alipay are leading the way in contactless spending, and the country’s digital advances are catalysing big changes in both the travel and retail spheres. With the ability to browse, book and pay for holidays on these channels in an instant, these platforms are a vital tool for the tourism industry and are a direct gateway to the Chinese consumer.
“With a huge majority now using these ‘super-apps’, it is fundamental for brands to utilise these channels to connect with their customer and offer outstanding travel experiences in enticing ways.”