London,
21
January
2014
|
10:00
Europe/Berlin

Britain lags behind Greece and Switzerland on Chinese travellers’ wish list

- UK off the ‘top 10’ list in China -

Travelzoo is one of the top travel and entertainment deal providers in the world and the company’s Asia Pacific operation has revealed its annual subscriber survey findings and it is bad news for the UK tourism industry.  With the Asian travel appetite getting stronger in 2014 and a forecasted increase of 17 percent in travel budgets, the majority of Chinese travellers picked European countries such as Greece, Switzerland and Italy over Britain. 

Jason Yap, CEO Travelzoo Asia Pacific
The outbound Chinese market is huge and the UK is missing out again and again. Despite the trade mission from George Osborne to Beijing in October 2013, there are still various factors which mean the UK isn’t the destination of choice for Chinese travellers – a lot of it is to do with lack of awareness about what’s on offer in Britain but there are other issues, including the ridiculous visa situation. Despite half-hearted revisions to the visa application, countries like Switzerland are cashing in on the business brought by Chinese tourists as they make it simple to enter the country.
Jason Yap, CEO Travelzoo Asia Pacific

The results from Travelzoo’s annual benchmarking survey have highlighted transformations in the holiday spending patterns of mainland Chinese travellers, with the majority willing to spend more to upgrade their holiday experiences and stay at high-end accommodation. Greece, Italy and France are all seen as aspirational and desirable holiday destinations, particularly for the huge emerging middle classes who no longer want guided tours, but instead want relaxing breaks with a touch of culture, good food and luxurious surroundings.  Britain needs to ‘up’ its marketing game and has a lot of catching up to do in order to compete with the rest of Europe.

 

Travelzoo estimates that the UK is missing out on over £1 billion annually by not attracting the wealthy Chinese traveller. The study revealed that Travelzoo’s mainland Chinese members will continue to lead the region in travel frequency, taking an average of 6.5 leisure trips and spending an estimated £5,000 on average in 2014. This is followed by the Japanese with five leisure trips and an average spend of £3,000; the Taiwanese with 4.4 leisure trips and an average spend of £3,700; and Hong Kong travellers with 4.3 leisure trips and an average spend of £4,200. Australians will travel the least, with an average of 3.5 leisure trips in 2014. However, they will fork out the most for their holidays, at an average spend of £5,700.

 

The study also pointed to Asian travellers’ preference for independent travel and high-quality holiday experiences. When respondents were asked what best describes their attitude towards leisure travel, 62 percent of Travelzoo Asia Pacific members prefer to explore at their own pace and 54 percent view rest and relax as key to their holiday experiences. Almost half of the respondents surveyed will focus on improving the quality of their break, spending more on hotels, food and entertainment, and less on shopping. The figures for mainland Chinese travellers were reflected strongly in these trends, with 75 percent wanting to rest and relax during their vacations, 62 percent spending more for upgrading their holiday experiences, and 56 percent preferring to explore at their own pace.

 

When respondents were asked about their accommodation budgets, the findings revealed that Travelzoo mainland Chinese members will splurge more than their regional counterparts. They will spend on an average of £100 per night, based on double occupancy, compared to the regional average of £85. This is in line with their willingness to spend more for a better holiday experience. Mainland Chinese members’ desire for quality was further reflected in their choice of accommodation, ranking beachfront villas or hotels as their top choice, followed by boutique hotels and luxury hotels.

 

Group tours’ appeal continued to decline among all members, with a regional average of 30 percent wanting such holidays. Instead, over 51 percent prefer all-inclusive holiday packages and purchasing accommodation and transportation only. Mainland Chinese travellers desire to personalise their own travel experiences was especially apparent in these results, with only 14 percent opting for group tours, 54 percent favouring all-inclusive holiday packages, and 58 percent looking to purchase accommodation and transportation only.

 

Yap continued: “The study confirms that Asia Pacific remains an important growth engine for global tourism. Asian travellers will lead in driving global tourism in years to come. Through our members and workings with travel suppliers, we see trends ahead of the curve. Some companies are already capitalising on this by offering higher levels of personalised and quality vacation products. Those that set standards and create higher value will certainly benefit from the golden period of Asia’s tourism development.”

 

“The study also reflects Travelzoo’s effective role in stimulating incremental travel and demand for higher quality holiday experience, especially in China,” continued Jason. “More Chinese travellers are apparently searching for higher quality holiday experience to rest, relax, seek personal pursuits and form deeper ties with a destination. They are also most willing to spend more on improving vacation quality.”

 

 

Australia

Japan

China

Hong Kong

Taiwan

1

Australia

52%

USA

36%

Japan

29%

Japan

43%

Japan

53%

2

USA

34%

Japan

31%

USA

29%

Australia

32%

USA

26%

3

UK

31%

Spain

23%

Taiwan

26%

Korea

29%

China

21%

4

New Zealand

29%

Italy

22%

New Zealand

25%

Maldives

27%

France

21%

5

Canada

23%

Taiwan

21%

Thailand

24%

Taiwan

22%

Switzer-

land

19%

6

Italy

22%

Thailand

19%

Maldives

24%

Thailand

22%

Italy

18%

7

Thailand

21%

Australia

17%

Australia

23%

UK

18%

Thailand

17%

8

France

20%

France

17%

Italy

19%

Switzer-land

17%

New Zealand

16%

9

Singapore

15%

Vietnam

16%

Switzer--land

18%

New Zealand

16%

Australia

16%

10

Vietnam

15%

Korea

15%

Greece

17%

Greece

15%

UK

16%

 

Visit Travelzoo for further information

* This survey was conducted in collaboration with WIMI, a consumer insights consultancy firm, from November 24 to December 15, 2013. 3,400 Travelzoo members from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan that participated in the study.

 

 

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