Browse the articles included in our ‘Essential China Travel Trends’ Tiger edition and learn about the Chinese travel market, its consumers and how to best reach out to them:

Sustainability – Evolving Strategies Coherent With Development

By Professor Geoffrey Lipman,

Contrary to popular wisdom, there is a widespread and growing environmental consciousness in China that matches patterns around the world and exceeds that of many large and developing countries. This includes national strategies and regulations, corporate social responsibility programs and very active NGOs. It has gained momentum as a result of the global concerns with climate change. But China faces fundamental sustainability challenges, including a starting position as a poor developing country, massive land and population size and widespread reliance on fossil fuels. The country’s dynamic development path means that growth has been (and remains) the key driver of policy, poverty reduction and modernization.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

Internet & Social Media Marketing – Engaging the world’s biggest online population

By Jens Traenhart, Dragon Trail

There were 420 million Internet users in China by the end of April 2010, more than the entire population of the United States, according to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the country’s official domain registry and research organization. That’s an increase of around 50% over 2008, and an increase of 1,500% since 2000. The online landscape in China is vastly different from other parts of the world, and international platforms often fail or get banned here. Popular sites such as Facebook, Youtube, Flickr and Twitter have fallen victim to the Great Firewall of China. While young innovative Chinese Netizens can find a way to get to these sites, why would they want to? In China, local Internet companies rule the digital space, and the numbers are staggering.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

China Travel Technology – Innovating for the wired traveler

By George Cao, Dragon Trail

Driven largely by the fast-growing consumer demand, travel related technologies have seen tremendous growth in the past decade. The Internet has brought about fundamental changes to travel research, planning and purchasing by Chinese travelers. According to a 2008 report from Research in China, 67% of China’s total Internet users choose the Internet as their main source of tourism information. More than 70% of netizens made a hotel reservation or booked an air ticket online in 2007. The report also said that 20% of all Chinese netizens use online channels to complete their purchases.

Since completing the first nation-wide wireless telephone communication network in 1996, China’s mobile communication service providers had grown their combined subscription base to over 756 million users by January of 2010, reports China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). All three major telecom carriers have launched third-generation (3G) mobile communication networks. Mobile phone-based travel applications and services are hailed as the new frontier of travel e-commerce development in China.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

Travel Distribution – A country at the crossroads of online and traditional travel booking

By Charlie Li, China Southern Airlines

The emergence in China of the new generation of online travel companies, such as Ctrip and eLong, has changed the rules of the game in a once fragmented market. Historically, China’s travel distribution marketplace was spread out over more than 7,000 licensed ticketing agencies, 17,000 licensed tour operators and tens of thousands of unlicensed travel companies selling air tickets, hotel rooms, packages and group tours. By leveraging a combination of online distribution platforms and the traditional call center channel, online travel planning providers are changing the competition landscape.

Chinese travelers still have not widely adopted online booking. Traditional channels such as physical sales outlets and call centers still handle more than 90% of the country’s US $60 billion in annual gross travel bookings. Even Ctrip, the undisputed market leader which dominates the online travel market with over 50% of market share, still processes about 70% of its bookings through a call center. eLong, as the number two player and a subsidiary of Expedia Inc., lags behind Ctrip, cornering less than 10% of online market share. Other players, like and, focus their business in the Southern China region.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

China’s Tourism Capacity 2.0 – Learning to serve sophisticated guests from abroad

By Lin Xu, China Luxury Travel Network (CLTN)

In the fast track of tourism growth, China is facing the challenge of developing segments that have the potential to move the industry up market. Travel suppliers need to develop a broad range of products and better services to cater to the increasingly diverse needs of high-end visitors. In its 11th five-year plan, the Chinese government has set future directions leading the industry to a new level, particularly in the segments of meetings, incentive travel, cruising, green tourism and health tourism. This has important implications for all market segments and presents particular opportunities for the luxury sector. If travel operators and hoteliers can adapt to satisfy a diverse range of needs and tastes, they can lead China’s travel industry into its next phase of growth.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

Outbound Tourism – Understanding the world’s fastest growing source market

By Professor Wolfgang Georg Arlt, COTRI

As part of China’s impressive economic growth, it has developed from just being an exotic destination to also representing the biggest Asian outbound tourism source market. Just within the last decade, the annual number of border crossings exploded from 10 million to 50 million. Chinese tourist groups can get visas now for almost all countries in the world, and the affluent, mostly urban, part of the society can easily obtain foreign currency. Chinese tourists have turned into a major target group for destination marketing organizations and tourism companies around the world. Experience with this new customer group has shown that Chinese tourists have their own distinct expectations, needs and behavior. Success in the Chinese outbound market requires careful product adaptation, new forms of marketing and differentiated means of fulfillment. Traveling internationally is today an important part of the social capital accumulation of the new consumer society in China.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

China Hotel Development Trends – A five-star boom leads industry-wide growth

By Damien Little, Horwath HTL

Over the past decade, China has experienced one of the largest increases to hotel supply ever to be recorded in such a period. The growth in official star-rated hotel supply tells much of the story, but not all of it. The story it fails to tell is that of the extraordinary development of the budget hotel sector. The drivers behind this growth have not been a series of isolated factors, but a combination of many interrelated factors. From 1999 through 2008 (the most recent year for which data are available), the number of star-rated hotels in China increased from 3,856 to 14,099, at a compound annual average growth (CAAG) of 15 percent. Due to changes in data collection, it is only possible to assess the growth in star-rated room supply from 2001 through 2008. However, even over this short period of time, we can see that the number of star-rated guest rooms essentially doubled, increasing from 816,260 to 1,591,379, at a CAAG of 10 percent. The 4-star hotel market recorded the fastest growth from 1999 to 2008 at 28 percent, followed by 5-star hotels at 21 percent. The growth in star-rated hotels does not necessarily correspond with the growth in hotel supply, as this can also reflect existing hotels obtaining official star ratings during this period.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

From Size to Strength: China’s Tourism Market Trends

By Xiaoan Wei, China Tourism Academy

In its 30-year history of modern development, every aspect of China’s tourism industry has seen drastic change. Even looking at the past decade, tourism revenue has more than tripled, according to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), which forecasts that in 2010, about 2.1 billion trips were taken within China’s borders. China’s fast economic growth and rapid infrastructure development have formed the basis for a strengthening travel and tourism market. Policy has had a major role in the development of the travel market in China. In the second half of the 1980s, the Chinese government began to include tourism in its national economic plan, formally establishing it as an industry. By 2000, it had grown into a 451.9 billion RMB industry, accounting for just over 5% of GDP. By 2009, it had more than tripled to a 1,400 RMB industry, but slipped in terms of GDP contribution, to 4.2%.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

The Affluent Chinese Consumer – China’s Luxury Travelers

By Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report

As the rest of the world struggles to pull itself out of the financial crisis, Chinese consumers are flush with cash and confidence as never before, offering a safe haven for the luxury market during stormy times internationally. With the Chinese economy performing strongly across the board, China’s growing legions of wealthy consumers have the financial clout to invest heavily in their lifestyles, especially in fields such as luxury travel, and are doing so in style. Indeed, China is the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury brands, expected to surpass Japan this decade, and for those looking to gain a foothold in this rapidly growing market, a deeper understanding of these people is vital.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

Mega Events Upgrade China’s Meetings Industry

By Daniel Tschudy, HQC Group & Mary Ma, VariArts Travel Group

When the year ends, China will have recently organized two of the largest events in the world: the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (the second largest sport event after the FIFA World Cup); and this year, ending October 31, the World Expo in Shanghai. If it meets its target 70 million visitors, Expo 2010 is projected to be the largest ever world gathering.In a very short time, China had to learn, adjust and expand tremendously in order to be able to host both events, and to meet the deadlines given for preparation. Both Beijing and Shanghai have seen the largest infrastructural (and some substantial social) transformation in their histories and thus both cities have developed so that they are almost unrecognizable.

To learn more, download the Essential China Travel Trends tiger edition booklet and read the full article.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Blogger
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Mister Wong
  • Email