The world’s top tourism spenders since 2012, Chinese travelers are poised to become even more valuable for retailers, hoteliers, and travel destinations worldwide. According to a new report by China Luxury Advisors and the Fung Business Intelligence Centre (FBIC), total overseas spending by Chinese tourists, which is expected to increase 23 percent this year to reach $229 billion, will nearly double to $422 billion by 2020.
The new report, “Global Chinese Shoppers: The $200 Billion Opportunity” — available for download here — analyzes a proprietary survey of the travel and spending habits of more than 1,000 Chinese netizens for the year ending May 21, 2015, combining these findings with economic and tourism growth projections.
The survey found that Hong Kong is the most popular destination for those traveling beyond mainland China, with 12.9 percent of respondents visiting the city over the past year, followed by Europe (7 percent) and the United States (2 percent). The report found that the farther these tourists traveled, the more they spent, with travelers spending an average of $2,555 each on trips to the US, outpacing Europe ($2,548) and a global average of $1,678.
The report finds that the 234 million Chinese projected to travel globally by 2020 will increasingly seek out themed travel and independent trips in contrast to the escorted shopping trips of the last five years. CLA and FBIC expect to see increases in travel to high-profile long- haul destinations, such as the US, while trips to Hong Kong and Macau will decrease as a proportion of the total.
What this means is that retailers, brands, and tourism destinations need to evaluate their Chinese consumer strategy from a global standpoint to adapt to the increased numbers of independent Chinese travelers and mitigate international cannibalization.
According to CLA co-founder Sage Brennan, active brand management now “means that the retailers and brands with the highest consumer awareness will be the long-term winners of the hearts and wallets of the all-powerful Chinese traveling shopper.”