How exactly do affluent Chinese millennials make travel decisions?

Well, according to a new report from ILTM and The Luxury Conversation, it’s children who are the biggest influence on travel decision-making, at least for millennials with children. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise—families around the world prioritize family when making travel decisions. However, this may be even more significant in China, given how important children are culturally in light of the One Child Policy.

For affluent millennial families in China, children are the biggest factor in making decisions on where to travel and stay

When making travel choices, features like a “kids’ club,” “kids’ menus,” and “local experiences/activities” were important for virtually all respondents, with around 65 percent to 70 percent considering these three “very important.”

In fact, having organic menu items for kids was also quite important for these millennial families. While it may seem surprising, Chinese media this year has been awash with stories of poor-quality food at schools. With stories like these making the rounds on social media, it’s unsurprising that quality food for kids is a priority for parents when traveling.

While kid-friendly accommodation was the most important consideration for millennial parents, WeChat features at hotels also proved important

WeChat features associated with travel accommodation were considerably less important, but nonetheless significant considerations, the survey found. The availability of a WeChat mini-program for accommodations, WeChat customer service, and a WeChat loyalty program were important to 88 percent, 95 percent, and 95 percent of respondents, respectively.

Of course, this still means that WeChat remains very important for these consumers. If it isn’t obvious by now, any major hotel brand that wants to attracts Chinese consumers needs to have some kind of WeChat presence. For many Chinese consumers, WeChat is the first stop for looking for relevant travel information, not to mention paying for goods and services with WeChat Pay.

In terms of destinations, unsurprisingly traveling domestically in China and to Hong Kong were by far the most popular, with around 50 percent of respondents opting for domestic travel. Japan came in third with 44 percent of respondents visiting in the year. Australia and France followed with 39 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

It’s an impressive figure for a long-haul destination like Australia, although unsurprising in the context of the explosive growth of Chinese tourism to the country. Chinese tourists to Australia grew by 13 percent year-on-year in the 12 months ending June 30, with a record 1.3 million arrivals.

The report’s authors note that destinations with strong reputations for adventurous, outdoors tourism have trended upwards this year. Canada and New Zealand also posted impressive figures because of this.

The report’s conclusions are based on a survey of 400 affluent families from around China, with almost 70 percent of families spending over $432 (RMB 3,000) per night on accommodation while traveling. The mean per-night spending on accommodation reported by participants was $756 (RMB 5,265).


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