Chinese Outbound Tourists

May 21, 2015
The average Chinese traveller isn’t who you’d expect
Although we welcome hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists down under every year, we don’t have a clear understanding of the typical Chinese traveller, and as a result, we are wasting the potential of encouraging more tourists to our shores. These are the top five characteristics of the typical outbound Chinese traveller, according to a survey of 3170 tourists by World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), and how we can harness this information to bring more tourism down under.
1. They were born in the 1980s
The typical Chinese outbound traveller is aged 26 to 35 with 56.2 per cent of all travellers from this age group. The majority of these travellers are only children as they were born after China’s one-child policy was enacted. As only children, many enjoy some financial support from their parents and as a result, have a greater amount of financial freedom when it comes to travel and leisure activities. Australian businesses need to tailor their approach to this age group who are able to afford a quality experience instead of something that is merely value for money.The second largest group were those aged 36 to 45 (26.4 per cent) and then those aged 16 to 25 (11.3 per cent).
2. They have kids
When it comes to their family situation, 59.3 per cent of Chinese travellers had children under the age of 18. With children at the centre of typical Chinese family life, a common wish among parents is to take their young children abroad to see and experience the world is a distinct characteristic of Chinese travellers. However, the majority of activities targeted to Chinese travellers don’t cater specifically to family travel. By offering more experiences that are family-centric such as child-friendly accommodation, meals appropriate for kids, and child-friendly activities the whole family can enjoy together, the Australian hospitality industry could better cater to the needs of the Chinese traveller and improve consumer satisfaction.
3. They want unique experiences and independent travel
Increasing numbers of Chinese travellers are ditching large tour groups and opting for independent travel instead. Although more travellers are organising their own itinerary and researching online to do so, the most popular problem for Chinese travellers planning their trip online was that available information was not rich enough (43.9 per cent) or was not practical (26.6 per cent). Australian businesses need to localise content for the Chinese people and the types of holidays they are researching to ensure we attract more travellers to Australia.
4. They’re tech-savvy
Young Chinese tourists are tech-savvy that reflects how they plan their holidays. Of the respondents, 78.2 per cent of all Chinese travellers accessed a Chinese travel website to research their trip and 76.89 per cent accessed the website of a travel agency. Coupled with this is almost 80 per cent calling for more official Chinese websites for travel information. Australian businesses need to create more official Chinese language websites to effectively communicate with China’s outbound travellers to entice more tourists to our country. Although Facebook and Twitter are banned in China, the country is home to the world’s most active social media population with 91 per cent of China’s web users owning a social media profile, compared to only 67 per cent in the US, according to a 2012 McKinsey report. With the popularity of social media in China, it’s not surprising 53.7 per cent of Chinese travellers want to see more travel information on Chinese social media platforms WeChat and Weibo. Although social media is an easy way for businesses to disseminate information to their audience, it is also a great channel for consumer feedback. It offers line of direct communication for consumer queries and complaints, and gives you the opportunity to understand more about your target audience and their concerns. With China’s mobile phone market saturated with smartphones, almost 40 per cent of Chinese travellers want more mobile apps to access travel information. Ensuring your audience can access information from any device via a mobile app or mobile-friendly website will allow your business to connect more effectively to China’s tech-savvy traveller.
5. They’re educated
This traveller is well educated a bachelor’s degree or higher certification. They speak some English due to years of learning the language at middle and secondary school for their university entrance exams. Photos posed with famous landmarks aren’t enough for this traveller – they are looking to for a unique experience that differentiates themselves from their circle of well-travelled peers. With this in mind, Australian tourism industry providers should aim to provide high-quality cultural experiences that appeal to these travellers.
Charmaine Wong
Charmaine Wong