Nine out of 10 Chinese travelers say they now have the means and are hoping to travel more frequently as compared to five years ago, according to a study released by Sabre Corporation.
The study shared insights on the Chinese traveler’s evolving preferences and major trends that are shaping China’s booming travel trade.
Higher disposable income (20%), enabling technologies that make traveling more convenient (17%), and access to relevant travel information (15%) are the top three factors that have contributed to this increase in travel.
The new generation of travelers – the digital natives who grew up with the Internet – tend to be more demanding when it comes to travel experiences, and are motivated beyond traditional sightseeing.
The top three motivations for these travelers are to find an outlet where they can relax (25%), have a good time with friends or family (22%), and seek a better understanding of foreign cultures (17%).
Looking specifically at the factors that motivate today’s new generation of travelers, there are two overarching attitudes toward traveling. While 49% of the respondents see travel as a means of personal improvement, over half (51%) of the respondents say it has become a new form of social currency.
For the latter, this means that travel has become a platform to connect and build stronger emotional bonds (57%), and a way of enriching their life experiences to share with friends and family (56%).
Today, travelers seek the flexibility to plan independently so much so that a majority of respondents (74%) expressed that they are willing to spend time and energy on their travel plans. This reflects the growing sense of self-empowerment and investment in personalizing travel experiences.
However, having more control over travel plans does not come at the expense of external support and trip guidance offered by travel providers and agents. In fact, many Chinese travelers (78%) still welcome and value support from friends, relatives and travel service providers.
With so much information out there, travelers need support and help from travel service providers to cut through the clutter and determine what is useful and relevant for them.