Chinese white-collar travelers demanding quality

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Chinese white-collar tourists are spending more on personalized features during trips, especially on overseas branded high-star hotels and featured hotels, travel deal publisher Travelzoo Inc found in a recent survey.

Urban white-collar leisure travelers generally favored resorts (78.7 percent), overseas branded hotels (48.9 percent) and boutique hotels (36 percent) while the domestic economy hotel (29 percent) received low acceptance. But travel costs remain a factor when making travel plans, according to the survey of Travelzoo covering several thousand Chinese users with annual family income of at least 300,000 yuan (US$48,387).

This shows that changes among Chinas consumers have modified travelers demands from just a place to sleep to a pleasurable experience, said Hong Wei, Travelzoo China president. The awareness of brand and quality standards will boost the development of the Golden Ten Years of tourism in China, defined as 2010-2020.

The UN World Tourism Organization said earlier this year that the Chinese were now the worlds biggest spenders on international tourism. They plunked down US$102 billion in 2012 a 40 percent increase from 2011, and enough to take them above the Germans and the Americans.

Its also essential for travel agencies and firms to work out how to get their business standards to match the demands of Chinese consumers. For example, independent travel has become more and more popular compared with group travel among Chinese tourists. Popular solo destinations include New York to buy property, and South Korea to get cosmetic surgery.

Travelers are abandoning traditional group tours, preferring to travel in a leisurely fashion, taking in cultural experiences, beach holidays, exploration on their own and diving as well as gourmet trips. China has become the largest source of tourism dollars in many countries like Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, industry insiders said.

White-collar travelers are demanding independent itineraries and individual services. They use online booking, compare prices and care more about the design style of room and hotels, according to Travelzoo.

Chinese mainland travelers take 6.9 annual leisure trips on average that include getaways and long-haul holidays, a significant increase from last years average figure of 4.2. They are expected to spend 20 percent more this year than in 2012, amounting to US$7,117 on average, second only to Australias US$8,867, according to an earlier Travelzoo survey.

Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute in Germany, says that this year China would overtake the United States and Germany as the biggest outbound tourism market, with 95 million trips and US$110 billion in spending. Next year, Chinese tourists are likely to make more than 100 million overseas trips. China Outbound Tourism reported that Chinese tourists made 83.2 million overseas visits and spent US$98 billion last year.

According to online hotel booking website, 58 percent of hoteliers in Europe planned to add Mandarin-speaking staff, and nearly as many (57 percent) planned to translate their hotel websites into Chinese. The study also found that 46 percent of American hotels already offered Mandarin versions of their websites.

EditorDuMingmingChen Lidan

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