The EyeforTravel’s new Chinese Travel Consumer Report 2017-2018 shows that more than 60% of Chinese consumers primarily use their smartphone, rather than desktop or laptop, to research their vacation.

When actually booking a trip, smartphones are less dominant than when researching, but still lead with over 41% booking a flight on a smartphone, compared to 35% on desktop/laptop, just over 8% on a tablet and 6% face-to-face with a travel agent. Almost 42% prefer a smartphone when booking accommodation, 34% a desktop/laptop, and 8.7% of consumers use a tablet. Apps are used far more often than browsers on smartphones when booking either transport or accommodation.

Younger generations of Chinese travellers spend proportionally more of their annual income on tourism, making the smartphone the dominant device of the future when trying to reach the Chinese travel consumer.

Other findings include that more than 70% of Chinese digital bookings are made through OTAs, via websites or apps, with Ctrip, Qunar and Meituan-Dianping the dominant forces. Tujia is primed for growth as the biggest player in the Chinese home rental market, with around 450,000 properties nationwide.

The Chinese outbound traveller is no longer primarily a shopping machine, with tours and activities, accommodation and new, more adventurous destinations benefitting from the trend towards experiential travel. The domestic travel market is also growing, with more than two thirds of survey respondents reporting that their last trip was made in China, estimated at 4.44 billion domestic tourism trips during 2016.

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