Hoteliers need WiFi not Weibo to satisfy Chinese tourists
Hoteliers are prioritizing budgets around social media and marketing campaigns over spending on the specific services that Chinese travelers require.
Hoteliers are prioritizing budgets around social media and marketing campaigns over spending on the specific services that Chinese travelers require, according to the sixth edition of hotels.com’s annual Chinese International Travel Monitor.
According to this report, Chinese travelers want, in order: free WiFi, Chinese breakfast, a kettle in the room, Mandarin-speaking staff and for the hotel’s printed materials to be also available in Chinese.
But hoteliers don’t seem to get it – having a Chinese restaurant on site is important for guests but not a priority for hotels. Hoteliers, having invested in marketing to attract the Chinese visitors, are then missing out on revenue beyond the room rate as a result.
The Chinese outbound market is huge with 122 million tourists in 2016 according to China National Tourism Administration. So there will be variations and exceptions which prove the rule.
The chart above shows that hotels in Latin America attract less on-property spend, explained by the region being popular with Millennial travelers who are more interested in “local” experiences.
Millennials get a lot of attention in the research. This group is informally broken down into younger (born in the 1990s) and older (born in the 1980s) Millennials. The younger Millennials are embracing the alternative accommodation sector with 29% having stayed in a vacation rental property or hostel over the past year.
Chinese Millennials are not that different from their global peers – wanting authentic, local experiences. However, Chinese travelers generally are more adventurous in terms of not only their choice of destination but also what they do when they get there.
Elsewhere, the dominance of online and mobile as the primary channel for search and booking is confirmed. The study says that 94% of travelers look at an online price comparison site when planning their trip and that more than half plan between two and six months before departure. On average the Chinese travelers spend 12 days planning.
The report runs to more than 70 pages and combines data from more than 3,000 Chinese international travelers, 3,800 of hotels.com’s global accommodation partners with other internal data and other third-party research.
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