A Booming Travel Industry

A booming travel industry in China indicates another strong sign of emerging consumers. The online travel sites such as Ctrip, Qunar (???), and Aoyou (??) have all experienced exponential growth in online airline tickets and hotel bookings.

A recent survey conducted by online travel search engine Qunar.com (???) – meaning “where are you going?” – portrayed a typical middle class profile: among frequent travelers, about 88 percent have college degrees; 35 percent own their own condominium or home; more than two-thirds have computers at home; and most amazingly, seventy-three percent are using credit cards to book their tickets.

With increased disposable income and a keen desire to see the world, Chinese consumers are spending their money on travel. I see a dramatic shift in their lifestyle, especially pertaining to leisure travel. The hotel chains in China, offering equivalent service to Best Western with reasonable prices ranging from $20 to $40, make traveling quite affordable.

An interesting characteristic of Chinese traveling is organized group travel. As a benefit, many companies provide group travel service to their employees. It works exceptionally well. For companies, it’s a great way for team building and morale; for employees, it’s a practical way to get discounted prices for hotels and airline tickets. Culturally, Chinese are very social and cost conscious. At least at this point, traveling with colleagues doesn’t bother them very much at all. If this trend continues, it will likely result in mass traveling in China in the near future.

Since a few years ago, my sister and her family have been traveling every summer to different tourist destinations such as Dunhuang????and Jiuzhaigou (???), which makes me entirely envious. It’s all because of the organized group travels!

Before long, Chinese will travel abroad. The survey by Qunar says almost 40 percent of current travelers are expecting to travel overseas for their next trip. The immediate destinations for Chinese travelers are Australia, Thailand, United States and Europe. The Chinese travel industry is predicted to reach $1.6 billion in 2007.

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11 thoughts on “A Booming Travel Industry

  1. Interesting! I have the same question as Steve P. regarding Chinese visits outside the PRC although I have read similar statistics to those you cite.

  2. Another great article. I think visa restrictions for Chinese tourism to the US and Canada will prove to be a big problem. I know the US recent relaxed its regulations regarding Chinese tourist visas. Will Canada follow suit? After looking at the paperwork required for a Chinese citizen to receive a Canadian tourist visa I can say it is voluminous.

  3. Steve and Diana,

    Thank you for the comments! I don’t know about visa situation… it could be a problem.

    Please keep the quesions coming!

  4. Great article, Helen. I like thinking of China with a growing middle class.
    I would like to think America had a growing middle class, too, but, unfortunately, it’s shrinking right now.

  5. Another well-written, very informative article, Helen. You are certainly consistent with your quality.

  6. Jennifer, it’s sadden to know the middle class in America is shrinking. How ironiccal it is while China is pushing to expand its middle class.

    Sandy, that comment from you is truly flattering and encouraging! Thank you very much!

  7. Kishor,

    Thank you for visiting my blog. China is a beautiful place and I haven’t been to many places yet. They are on my list to go.

  8. Tourism from China to Canada will increase. For us Huayi, third and fourth genrations, or Huayi, recently from Nanfei or elsewhere; can benefit greatly to help introduce the visitors to our familiar adopted ‘Western’ lifestyle, simulataneouly increasing our contact with our forebears roots. The programme will call for enterprising, benvolent and magnanimous individuals / groups, who have a challenging / beneficial opportunity to be directly involved.