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Most popular destinations of Chinese luxury travelers and their airline preference

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

young asian travelersAccording to a new report on 2017 luxury travelers in China, travelers have visited an average of 18 countries, and take an average of 3.3 overseas trips annually, amounting to 27 days, of which tourism accounts for 69%. Continue reading for their popular destinations and airline preference for travel.

These are the results of the 2017 Chinese Luxury Traveller report, issued jointlyby Hurun Report and ILTM, focusing on the behaviour and demands of China's high-end tourists, to understand and interpret the direction in which the industry is heading.

luxury china traveler destinations

When it comes to destinations, Europe and Southeast Asia are preferred by a considerable margin. Europe of course, with its cultural heritage and picturesque natural scenery, is long-established as the destination of choice among the Chinese jet set, while Southeast Asia is more newly established, having surpassed the Americas as one of the hottest destinations for luxury travelers over the past two years. The latter finds particular favor among the millennial generation, with a staggering 34% choosing it as their top pick, transforming it from the fourth most popular destination last year to the first. The region's convenient geographical proximity and lush tropical climate are the factors attracting ever-increasing droves of high-end Chinese tourists.

chinese luxury travelreasonsIn terms of reasons for travelling abroad, travelling for leisure remains the most common motivation, with 41%. The recent trends of polar exploration and adventure travel continued to grow in popularity, with 31% and 20% respectively. Island travel saw the most noticeable upsurge in 2016, becoming the third most popular reason for travel at 23%, ahead of taking road trips (13%) and cruises (14%). Among millennial respondents, visiting islands was the most popular choice, with 46%.

From the above we can see that luxury travelers are becoming increasingly adventurous, with the growth in popularity of polar exploration a case in point. Islands, with their balmy climates and sparkling ocean views and beaches, also hold a particularly strong allure for respondents, especially for the millennial generation. As well as offering exciting water sport opportunities like surfing and diving for the more active, islands are also viewed as a family-friendly option which allow for a high degree of personal space.

Air China, Emirates Most Popular Domestic and International Carriers

Air China is by far the most popular domestic airline, selected by 53.9%, followed by China Southern Airlines (22.4%) and Cathay Pacific (21.9%). Between both age categories, Air China comes out on top, earning impressive customer loyalty, with more than half of respondents ranking it the highest due to its good reputation. For overseas airlines, Emirates and Singapore Airlines set the benchmark for luxury flight experiences, leaving their competitors trailing far behind with figures of 23% and 22% respectively. Both airlines count cost-effective services among their main selling points. The fact that Singapore and Dubai airports are such important hubs for flight transfers also contributes to their popularity.

chinese airline memberships

Respondents have taken an average of 1.7 cruises before, although 34% have never been on one.

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