Australia comes out on top on Chinese travelers’ wish list for third year in a row

Latest research reveals Chinese travelers’ love affair with Australia


Sydney, Australia – 19 July, 2016: We may be down Under, but for Chinese Travelers, Australia has come out on top for a third year running as the most desired destination to visit in the next 12 months, according to the 2016 Chinese International Travel Monitor by

As record numbers of Chinese visitors headed to our shores in 2015[1], the fifth annual Chinese International Travel Monitor report also revealed that Australia was the top country for sightseeing ahead of Japan and Hong Kong, and the best for adventure and backpacking.

Adding weight to Aussies’ reputation for a laid-back way of life, Australia was rated by outbound Chinese travellers as one of the top five most welcoming countries and the second-best destination for resorts and beaches, sitting only behind the Maldives.

The survey, conducted in May 2016 amongst 3,000 Chinese travellers by Ipsos, a world leader in market research, also categorised travellers from China into five unique travel personas.

The travel personas highlight Chinese travellers’ varying travel styles and behaviours whilst identifying the rise of young, independent and ambitious millennial travellers. Chinese international traveller personas

Detailed explorers (25%) Born in the 60s and 70s, they are innovative and optimistic, like to learn and explore and to plan their trips down to the last detail.


Cautious connectors (25%) Also born in the 60s and 70s. They come from lower-tier cities and responsible family people and travel to bond with loved ones. They prefer safe, family-friendly hotels.


Experience seekers (17%) Tend to be born in the 80s and 90s and be from top-tier cities. They like stylish hotels and professional advice on local cultural activities. They travel to enrich their experience, being independent and ambitious.


Indulgers (12%) Most likely born in the 80s, they travel to indulge themselves and to demonstrate their power. They tend to stay at higher-star hotels and go on adventurous local tours.


Basic pleasure seekers (21%) Millennials born in the 90s. Unlike other groups, more of them are women than men. They are aesthetically minded and travel for non-material enjoyment, seeking value-for-money accommodation. predicts millennials will be the fastest-growing segment, with the group spending over a quarter (27 percent) of their income on international travel, based on survey data.

Katherine Cole, Regional Director Australia and New Zealand for the brand, said the personas should encourage the market to think about Chinese travellers in a new light: “If Australians think they’ve noticed more Chinese sightseers on the streets, they’re not mistaken. Perceptions of Chinese travellers as members of bus tour groups wanting only Chinese breakfasts and Mandarin translations need to change. Our research shows that Chinese travellers are more diverse and sophisticated than ever before.”

“From Uluru to the Opera House, Chinese travellers have plenty to love about Australia and we need to continue to pull out all the stops to accommodate this booming group of travellers. The potential for growth is huge,” said Ms Cole.

Likely due to the slowing economy, Chinese travellers tightened their belts in 2015 by spending 17 percent less per day on average than in 2014. Despite this, one-third plan to spend more on travel in the coming year and Chinese travellers remain amongst the biggest spenders on tourism, with an average spend of US$3,455 per year among those surveyed, when compared to travellers from around the world.

In additional to accommodation, Chinese travellers mostly spent their money on shopping, dining and sightseeing experiences.


What Chinese travellers really want

In relation to what Chinese travellers want from a hotel, free wi-fi was again top of the list. Forty five percent of hotels already provide free wi-fi, with 46 percent planning to introduce it. Top priority for hotels in marketing to and catering for Chinese travellers is expanding social media channels, with 38 percent listing this. Introducing Mandarin-speaking staff is no longer a top priority.


Tech-savvy travellers

On the technology front, social media as a source of travel information was up six percent on the previous year. When it came to booking, only 10 percent used conventional travel agencies, while 74 percent used online travel agencies. Over 62 percent of bookings were made via mobile, according to those surveyed, with booking via mobile up 10 percent on the previous year’s survey.


Notes to editor

Figures on spending, including prices paid for hotel rooms, are quoted in Chinese Renminbi (RMB) and their US dollar equivalent wherever possible. Unless otherwise indicated, the RMB–US$ exchange rate used in this survey is US$1= RMB6.5386, the rate on May 18 2016, the mid-point of the field research.


About the research

The Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) analyses research taken directly from both Chinese international travellers and hoteliers worldwide, combined with own proprietary data and other research.

For the travellers’ survey, used Ipsos, a world leader in market research, which in May 2016 conducted interviews with 3,000 Chinese residents, aged 18–54 years, who had travelled overseas in the past 12 months. A Computer-assisted Web Interviewing technology was used. The representative sample consisted of men and women from a number of cities in all tiers.

The travellers were asked about travel behaviour, booking methods, accommodation choices and many other aspects of their travel.

To complement this with the opinion of hoteliers, carried out a global survey of more than 5,800 hotel partners, also during May 2016. The 37 participating countries were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, the USA and Vietnam.

[1] china.aspx