Chinese dragon still building steam with strong growth in Chinese international travel numbers

Latest Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor highlights younger millennials and affluent travelers fuel 20 percent growth in Chinese outbound travelers[1]

– 80 percent of Chinese travelers have used online devices including mobile, desktop and laptop to plan and book travel, compared with only 53 percent last year
– Chinese-language booking websites serve as trusted link between Chinese travelers and accommodation providers
– Hoteliers called on to accommodate the needs of Chinese travelers with free Wi-Fi and Chinese-speaking staff

DALLAS – July 15, 2015 – The continued, sustained growth in the number of Chinese international travelers presents huge opportunities for the global tourism industry and hoteliers, reveals the Hotels.com® Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) 2015. According to the latest major annual study from Hotels.com, tech-savvy, younger and more affluent Chinese form a substantial part of the 20 percent growth in outbound mainland Chinese travelers, reaching 107 million in 20141. The report also highlights the need for hoteliers to cater to Chinese travelers’ needs such as Chinese-speaking staff, Chinese-language tourist guides and dedicated websites.

Credible insights from travelers, hoteliers and proprietary data
The fourth edition of the Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor provides detailed insights into how outbound travel movements by mainland Chinese are impacting the global travel industry. It combines data from more than 3,000 Chinese international travelers and 1,500 Hotels.com accommodation partners globally, with data from Hotels.com and other third-party research.

Increasing influence of millennials
The Hotels.com CITM identifies the growing influence of Gen Y travelers – the so-called tech-savvy millennials aged 18 to 35. Fifty-nine percent of hoteliers surveyed say they’ve experienced an increase in Chinese guests aged 35 or under in the past year and they expect this trend to continue. The growth is especially strong in the Asia Pacific region, where 78 percent of hoteliers reported an increase.

The rise of the Chinese luxury traveller
Another feature of this year’s results is the growing financial muscle of the top 10 percent of travelers in overseas travel spend. At $2,225 USD* (13,800 RMB) per day including accommodation, they parted with four times more than that of the average traveler, who spent $536 USD (3,324 RMB). However, this pales in comparison to the top five percent of spenders, who shelled out over six times more than the average ($3,368 USD, 20,896 RMB), indicating the emergence of a ‘super-luxury’ class.

Tech-savvy with a preference for booking online
Using the internet to research and book overseas trips has become the norm for Chinese travelers, while the use of mobile phones for planning and booking their travel has skyrocketed. In the past 12 months, 80 percent of Chinese travelers have used an online device including mobile, desktop and laptop to plan and book travel, compared with only 53 percent last year. Half of all Chinese international travelers now use apps on their smartphones to plan and book trips, up from just 17 percent the year prior.

Hotels.com responds to the rise of Chinese international travelers
Recognizing the growing importance of the Chinese travel market, Hotels.com launched a Chinese-language website in 2009. A range of bespoke Hotels.com apps for smart phones and tablets is also available in simplified Chinese, while popular Chinese third-party online payment solution Alipay have been introduced as a payment option for Chinese customers.

“The latest Hotels.com report reveals several themes emerging, not least the expanding influence of Chinese ‘millennial’ travelers, an increasingly more affluent Chinese traveller, and the explosion in the use of technology, in particular mobile, as part of the accommodation research and booking process,” said Abhiram Chowdhry, Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific for the Hotels.com brand. “Many hoteliers have already recognized the benefits of free Wi-Fi as well as Chinese-language information and booking websites.”

Other key findings of Hotels.com CITM:
– According to the number of rooms booked on the Hotels.com Chinese website in 2014, the top three countries which Chinese travelers visited were the USA, Thailand and Hong Kong.

– Australia, Japan and France are the top three countries Chinese travelers intend to visit in next 12 months.

– In the past 12 months, 80 percent of Chinese travelers have used an online device including mobile, desktop and laptop to plan and book travel, compared with only 53 percent last year.

– According to Hotels.com booking data, in New Zealand, Sweden and Argentina, Chinese travelers were the biggest spenders on hotel accommodation in 2014.

– The top 10 percent of Chinese travelers spent an average of $439 USD (2,723 RMB) per night on hotels alone.

* Unless otherwise indicated, RMB to USD $ exchange rates in this survey were taken on April 30, 2015 of 1 RMB = USD $0.1612

Note to editors
For additional materials or to view the full Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor 2015 please visitwww.CITM2015.com or the US press room.  Join the conversation on Twitter at #HotelExperts at @hotelsdotcom

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

The travelers’ survey was commissioned during May 2015 by IPSOS, a world leader in market research, global market information and business analysis, to conduct a research study amongst a sample of 3,000 eligible respondents across mainland China. Minimum thresholds were set on key demographics such as age, gender and region to ensure a representative sample that would allow analysis of sub-groups. The questionnaire covered topics including, but not limited to, travel behavior, booking methods and accommodation choices.

For the opinion of hoteliers, a global survey of more than 1,500 Hotels.com hotel partners during May 2015. Responses were received from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the USA.

About Hotels.com
Hotels.com L.P. operates Hotels.com, a leading online accommodation booking website with properties ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals.

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Press contacts:

Taylor L. Cole, APR
Head of Public Relations, Hotels.com North America
Phone: (469) 335-8442
Email: taycole@hotels.com
Twitter: @TravelwithTLC