Chinese travellers rank NZ as the number four destination

Press Release – Hotels.com

Kiwis feel the love from Chinese travellers, as New Zealand ranks fourth in list of top destinations in the world to visit this year

Popularity contest: Chinese travellers rank New Zealand as the number four destination they’d love to visit in the next 12 months
Love for Kiwi hospitality: Targeted tourism campaigns and friendly locals are attracting more Chinese travellers, with the country ranking as the 12th most welcoming country in the world

Auckland, 18 July 2018: Recent research from Hotels.com™ has revealed that the rate of Chinese travellers to New Zealand could be about to overtake Australians, with the country ranking 4th in the world for Chinese travellers’ anticipated travel in the next 12 months.

The Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) has revealed that New Zealand’s second-largest international tourism market could be about to become the largest, increasing their travel by 3 per cent in the last year, and spending an impressive 40 per cent more on travel, to fund trips full of new experiences and local immersion.

While ranked a comfortable 15th in the world for popularity, bringing in 407,000 Chinese travellers for the year ending September 2017, the CITM report shows New Zealand ranked 4th in the world for future travel, behind Australia, Canada and France – up three places on last year – with future visitors keen to explore more of Wellington (56%), Auckland (45%) and Queenstown (31%).

Hotels.com Marketing Manager for Australia and New Zealand, David Spasovic, comments, “The CITM report revealed a new generation of Chinese travellers who are hungry for edgy and exciting travel experiences and in more far-flung places.

“Chinese millennials born after 1990 are particularly eager to cross the world, increasing their travel expenditure in the past year by a staggering 80 per cent and committing a third (36%) of their income to travel – more than any other age group – as they take full advantage of the strong exchange rate against the Kiwi dollar.”

The report showed that New Zealand particularly appeals to Chinese travellers’ broadening sense of curious travel, with 80 per cent of travellers visiting for leisure. The new generation of Chinese travellers are keen to explore New Zealand’s natural beauty and landscapes, with natural attractions being the big pull. Franz Joseph Glacier (30%), Maungawhau/Mount Eden Crater (27%), Fox Glacier (26%) and Milford Sound (21%) are all named must-see, bucket-list destinations for Chinese travellers looking for the best sights to showcase on social media (83%).

Chinese travellers heaped praise on their Kiwi hosts, with the report revealing New Zealand as the second most welcoming country in Oceania, and 12th in the world, with Japan leading the pack.

“Chinese travellers love the country, and they love Kiwis. The Heart of the Long White Cloud campaign, launched in China by Tourism New Zealand, has allowed major Chinese influencers to showcase the country and its people, while visa changes[1] in mid-2017 allowing multiple entries across five years look to encourage repeat visits.”

Wellington (56%) and Auckland (47%) remained the top cities Chinese travellers visited in the past 12 months, with potential for this to increase as Chinese flight carriers such as Sichuan Airlines[2] and Tianjin Airlines[3] expand their offerings to Auckland over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, Chinese travellers are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to spending choice, with the report revealing they are eager to taste local delicacies (38%) such as kina and manuka honey, and buy authentic locally sourced items (33%).

Booking a room for improvement

While hotels and similar accommodation providers like serviced apartments (55%) and resorts/villas (50%) are the accommodation of choice for travellers to New Zealand, the report highlighted how Chinese preferences for technology during their stays are not being met.

The ability to QR code scan via WeChat and acceptance of mobile phone payments were particular points for development for Chinese travellers around the globe. Meanwhile, booking and reservation methods were not up-to-scratch for a third of travellers, and local transport arrangements along with Mandarin speaking guides and hotel staff were also areas for improvement.

Interestingly, the CITM reported also that Chinese millennial travel anxieties are taking form in ancient superstitions, surprisingly more so than their elders. 40 per cent of millennials don’t want a mirror opposite the bed, compared with 35 per cent for the generation of their parents. They also wouldn’t like to stay at the end of a corridor (41% vs. 35%) and are more reluctant to stay on a 4th or 7th floor (20% vs. 12%).

Spasovic comments: “This year’s CITM report really hit home that Chinese travellers are spending more and are more inquisitive when it comes to their travel choices and experiences. It’s therefore vital the Kiwi travel industry continues adapting to their evolving needs in order to tap into their enormous spending power, and maintain our reputation as a favourite destination for this important market to the New Zealand economy.

“Hotels.com is proud to partner with accommodation providers who seek to deliver quality and friendly hospitality, and we encourage providers to make use of the data from this report to work together and ensure Chinese travellers feel welcome and stimulated from the moment they book their flights and accommodation.”

Top ten destinations visited by Chinese travellers in the past 12 months:

RANKING IN 2018 DESTINATION PERCENTAGE OF CHINESE TRAVELLERS RANKING IN 2017
1 Japan 39% 2
2 Hong Kong 37% 1
3 USA 30% 3
4 France 21% 6
5 Australia 20% 8
6 Macau 19% 7
7 Korea 16% 5
8 Thailand 15% 3
9 Singapore 13% 9
10 Germany 11% 10

Top ten destinations where Chinese travellers feel most welcome:

RANKING IN 2018 DESTINATION INCIDENCE 2018 RANKING IN 2017
1 Japan 20% 2
2 Thailand 16% 1
2 Hong Kong 16% 4
4 Korea 12% 6
5 Australia 11% 3
6 Macau 9% N/A
7 USA 8% 5
8 Singapore 6% 9
8 Canada 6% 10
10 New Zealand 5% N/A

Top ten destinations Chinese travellers are excited to visit in the next 12 months:

RANKING IN 2018 DESTINATION INCIDENCE 2018 YOY DIFFERENCE
1 Australia 19% +3%
2 Canada 18% +2%
3 France 14% -4%
3 New Zealand 14% +4%
5 USA 12% -6%
6 Maldives 10% -1%
7 Germany 9% -3%
7 Singapore 9% -1%
7 Japan 9% – 1%
10 Korea 8% +1%

Ends
Notes to Editors

This is the seventh edition of the Hotels.com™ Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM), which takes a comprehensive look at the impact on global travel by mainland Chinese travellers.

Hotels.com engaged Ipsos, a world leader in market research, to conduct interviews during May 2018 with 3,047 Chinese residents, aged 18-58 years, who had travelled overseas in the past 12 months. A computer-assisted web interviewing technology was used for the different-tiered cities.

Chinese cities are classified into different tiers based on the populations, economic size and political ranking. Tier 1 includes cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, Tier 2 provincial capitals such as Chengdu, Tier 3 medium sized cities such as Zhuhai and Tier 4 smaller sized cities. In this survey 51 per cent of participants lived in Tier 1 cities, 33 per cent in Tier 2 cities and 16 per cent in Tier 3.

The travellers were asked about their spending patterns, travel preferences, booking methods, accommodation choices and future plans, along with many other aspects of their travel.

When analysing their responses, researchers divided travellers into four age categories, those born after 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1990, to provide further insight into choices and preferences of different generations. Those born after 1980 and 1990 are referred to as millennials throughout the report.

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[1] http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11969111
[2] http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11875545
[3] http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11963298

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