The number of Chinese travelers making international trips was up 22% in 2011 compared to 2010, and experts predict China is on track in the next few years to overtake Germany and the United States as the world’s largest outbound tourism market, according to the inaugural Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) from Hotels.com.
Hotels.com surveyed more than 5,000 hotel partners worldwide and found 22% expect to see an increase in outbound Chinese travel by as much as 40%. Not surprisingly, many hoteliers are starting to adapt to these guests, with the study indicating 41% of hotel respondents are planning to offer Chinese TV channels, while 66% of European hotel respondents are planning to offer Chinese breakfast options.
“The Chinese made a staggering 70 million international trips in 2011, and while many of these were to Hong Kong and Macau, the number going further afield is growing significantly,” said Johan Svanstrom, managing director of Hotels.com Asia Pacific. “Implementing strategies to cater specifically to this burgeoning source market is moving from a nice-to-have to a competitive necessity. Hoteliers should form concrete plans in two areas. Firstly, develop marketing strategies to reach the Chinese source market, concentrating on online as the Chinese internet population has now crossed the 500 million mark. Secondly, adapt hotel property services to cater to the expectation and needs of this growing audience.”