Chinese Tourists to overhaul global travel industry

The continued growth in Chinese outbound and domestic travel will change the global hospitality industry for ever, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2011 released today at World Travel Market

The report, produced in association with Euromonitor International, said that the Chinese would spend $57bn on accommodation this year, third in the world behind the US and Germany. By 2015, the Chinese will be number two, with their spend up 17% to $67bn.

The WTM Global Trends Report 2011 says some global hotel chains are partnering with Chinese businesses to get a foothold in the domestic market, while others are customising their offer to cater to Chinese tastes. “Companies will use their experience in the Chinese domestic market to feed best practices back to properties abroad in key destinations for Chinese travellers,” the report states.

Spanish hotel giants Sol Melia and NH Hoteles have both taken the partnership approach. Sol Melia has partnered with Jin Jiang Hotels to share best practice. Chinese travel group HNA bought 20% of NH Hoteles to help the Spanish chain enter the Chinese market.

Starwood has a pipeline of 100 hotels under development in China, and in 2010 Chinese membership of its Preferred Guest loyalty scheme was the company’s second largest globally.

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Hilton Worldwide has launched Hilton Huanying, meaning “welcome” in Chinese, which ensures that its service is tailored to Chinese guests when travelling abroad; reception staff are fluent in Mandarin; the in-room entertainment includes a wide range of Chinese TV channels and breakfast caters for Chinese tastes.

InterContinental will launch a dedicated upscale Chinese brand by 2013. Its Holiday Inn Express brand in China has been renamed and translates as “Smart Choice”

Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery said: “The importance of the Chinese market has been known for some time, but we are now starting to see how their desire to travel – domestically and internationally - will reshape the business, with hotels at the forefront of these changes.”

Carline Bremner, Head of Travel and Tourism Research, Euromonitor International, said: “Hotels are applying various strategies to learn more about the Chinese consumer and feed that insight into their global network. With 62 million outbound trips forecast by 2015, hotels that cater to Chinese tastes will stand out from the crowd.”