Retail in Asia

In Trends

Report: China’s young travelers demanding personalized luxury and digital innovation

Marriott International, Inc. and the Hurun Research Institute have release the Chinese Luxury Traveler 2016.

This year’s report focuses on young, luxury travelers born after 1980. Relatively wealthy, these Generation Y travelers spend an average of RMB420,000 (US$65,000) on tourism per household, per year, and an average of RMB220,000 (US$34,000) on tourist shopping – primarily clothing, bags, watches and jewelry. Their average hotel budget is RMB3,100 (US$500) per night. Experienced travelers, they have been to an average of 13 countries and have been abroad 3.3 times in the past year for approximately 25 days, 69% of which was leisure travel.

Findings shows that:

  • China’s young luxury travelers go abroad every 3-4 months, mainly for leisure
  • They spend RMB 420,000 (US$65,000) on tourism per year and RMB 220,000 (US$34,000) on travel shopping
  • They demand personalized luxury experiences, Wi-Fi, and next generation guest services on smart devices as standard
  • Japan is the top destination for shopping, France is the most popular destination in Europe and Australia is the top destination for leisure

The report’s key findings reveal a shift in travel habits among this younger generation of travelers, aged 18 to 36. The research shows that they want a more personalized luxury experience and added value throughout the entire hospitality ecosystem – from planning a trip, to requesting guest services, to selecting which loyalty program to join.

The report reaffirms that when it comes to services and information, China’s young luxury travelers prefer to do it digitally. Interactive guest services on smart devices are far more popular than traditional guest services, and travelers also expect this smart technology to record and manage their personal preferences.

Not surprisingly, China’s young luxury travelers conduct their research on digital platforms. WeChat emerged as their primary source of travel information, obtained from official WeChat accounts and the accounts of friends and professional travel advisors. Third-party apps are also important information channels and popular platforms include C-Trip, Qunar and Tuniu.

Diverse in their travel motivations, China’s young luxury travelers are seeking a wider choice of unique and novel travel experiences. They are interested in adventure travel, polar exploration and road trips that take them further afield to a wider range of destinations around the globe.

With greater opportunities at their fingertips, this group of young luxury travelers feel underwhelmed by loyalty programs, many of which are seen as low value and not unique.

Download Full Report

(Source: Marriott International and the Hurun Research Institute)