The evolution of the young Chinese luxury consumer

Young Chinese luxury travellers demand bespoke experiences and go abroad every three to four months, mainly for leisure, according to a Hurun Research Institute report.

It shows that these travellers spend RMB420,000 (US$65,000) on tourism every year and RMB220,000 on travel shopping. Japan is the top destination for shopping – not Hong Kong.

They demand personalised luxury experiences, Wi-Fi access, and next-generation guest services on smart devices as standard.

The inaugural Chinese Luxury Traveler 2016 study was released by the institute in conjunction withMarriott International, and is the first collaboration of its kind between a global hotel company and an authority on Chinese luxury travel.

Key findings reveal a shift in travel habits among this younger generation of travelers, aged 18 to 36 years. They want added value throughout the entire hospitality ecosystem, from planning a trip, to requesting guest services, to choosing which loyalty program to join.

When it comes to services and information, young Chinese luxury travellers prefer the digital approach. 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.

They also do their research on digital platforms, with WeChat emerging as their primary source of travel information. Third-party apps are also important for information, such as C-Trip, Qunar and Tuniu.

Novel travel experiences are popular, such as adventure travel, polar exploration and road trips.

Also, this group feels underwhelmed by loyalty programs, many of which are seen as low value and not unique.

“This is a key focus area for Marriott,” says Marriott International chief sales and marketing officer for Asia Pacific, Peggy Fang Roe. In the first quarter of this year, the hotel group had a 7 per cent increase in domestic travellers in China and a 25 per cent increase in Chinese outbound travellers.

Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf says despite the economy slowing, the impact on outbound travel from high-net-worth individuals seems to have steadily grown.

“The young luxury travellers have developed significant spending firepower, minted on the back of the recent boom in Chinese entrepreneurship, together with a growing class of second-generation ‘rich kids’.”

The report says the young, Chinese luxury travellers have an average hotel budget of RMB3100 a night.

Established as a research unit in 1999, Hurun Report has grown into a media group targeted at high-net-worth individuals in China and India. Headquartered in Shanghai, Hurun Report has offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Sanya, London, Los Angeles, Chicago and Cochin (Kerala) in India.

Dover Street Market Tokyo