Hotel Online  Special Report


 Study Shows Chinese Travelers Are a
Market Force to Be Reckoned With 


CHICAGO - Sept. 29, 2005 - A new study shows that there are tremendous marketing opportunities to reach the ever-growing numbers of Chinese travelers. Synovate, a leading global research firm, today released a study on Chinese international travelers that delivers fresh, comprehensive information to marketers targeting this burgeoning group. 

Daisy Sam, research director of Synovate Hong Kong said the study confirmed the growing market power of the Chinese traveler and uncovered some key opportunities for travel marketers. "There's no doubt that this is the single most powerful nation of travelers in the world -and it's all the more powerful because many of the travelers are so new to the pursuit." 

"The smart marketer should be working to capture the Chinese imagination now - and build brand loyalty - in order to set up potentially explosive growth. Very few international hotels obtained overwhelming percentage of unaided awareness. So, for most hotel groups, it's like starting with a clean slate - and the earlier a hotel group seizes this opportunity to build awareness, the better for their bottom-line," said Sam. 

Sheri Lambert, Sector Head of Synovate's Travel & Leisure further commented, "with China forecasted to be the largest outbound market, a number of hotel companies are hoping to become the brand of choice with Chinese travel. But, it doesn't stop with hotel brands. All brands are targeting this untapped market." 

The only way is up 

The world is becoming increasingly available to Chinese travelers. 

"After two decades of gradual development, the number of approved destination countries for international travel has increased to 90, 64 of which were added to the list since January 2005," commented Sam. "This rapidly rising number of approved destination countries is releasing pent up demand for travel and it looks set to continue." 

The top five travel destinations for leisure travel are Hong Kong (61%), Macau (28%), Thailand (17%), Malaysia (7%) and Singapore (6%). Business travelers are most likely to visit Hong Kong (58%), Thailand (17%), Macau (16%), Japan (8%) and Malaysia (7%). 

The first time is always special 

The study also confirmed that Chinese travelers are still quite conservative in their travel behaviours. 

A large percentage of first time travelers will head to Hong Kong or Macau. "These are places with ties to China and represent an easier first-time trip. Indeed, most first-time Chinese travelers travel in a tour group, making the trip as comfortable as possible," said Sam. 

"The top destinations for Chinese travelers have been on the approved destinations list for a significant period of time and are the most accessible in terms of comfort, language and familiarity," she said. "It's not until travelers embark on multiple trips that they start to shun the tour group and take on more individual travel and itineraries... again, the perfect time for marketers to establish brand loyalty with these people." 

Other findings 

The survey also found: 

  • Respondents were technologically savvy with most owning desktop computers, mobile phones and MP3 players 
  • Property ownership was also quite high 
  • Card ownership was quite high, with ChinaUnion Pay cards being the predominant card owned 
Leisure travel 
  • Hong Kong was the most popular destination for leisure travel 
  • Air China was by far the most common airline for leisure travel 
  • Sightseeing, visiting friends and relatives and shopping were the main purpose of visits 
  • The average leisure visit lasted about five nights 
Business travel 
  • Hong Kong was once again the most popular international travel destination 
  • General business was the most frequently cited reason for travel and six nights was the average length of stay 
  • Business travelers tend to spend around $124 per night 
  • Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were key destinations for domestic business trips and the average length of stay was between three and four nights 
About Synovate Passport 

Synovate Passport is a syndicated study of the Chinese outbound travel industry and the travel behavior of Mainland Chinese. The objective of the study is to assist players in the travel and tourism industry across the region to better plan and develop their business. 

The quantitative part of the study covered Mainland travelers from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Respondents were adults aged 25 to 64 years with a monthly household income of RMB6,500 and above for Shanghai and Beijing, and RMB7,500 and above for Guangzhou. This represents approximately 15% of the population of those cities. The research was conducted from January to March, 2005. 

About Synovate Travel and Leisure 

Synovate Travel and Leisure is comprised of airline, cruise, hotel and travel research experts with a reputation for providing approachable, personal client service. Synovate's Travel and Leisure team understands the unique marketing and research needs of the travel and tourism industry. 

About Synovate 

Synovate operates in 97 cities across 46 countries and provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of leading research solutions. The company is the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, the London-based global media and communications conglomerate. 


Ruder Finn
Adrienne McGarr, 312-329-3907

Sheri Lambert, 610-563-1059

Also See: Japan, a Net Exporter of Tourists, Working Hard to Attract Chinese Tourist / August 2005
Florida International University's Hospitality Program Partners with Tianjin, a City 70 miles from Beijing, to Open a Hotel-Management School / February 2005

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.Online Search

Home | Welcome! | Hospitality News | Classifieds | Catalogs & Pricing | Viewpoint Forum | Ideas/Trends
Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.