Chinese vs. Western tourists
Different online booking behaviors
49% of French netizens and 58% of Canadian netizens book their holidays online, according to Statista. Bear in mind that public access to the internet in China is very recent : first e-commerce groups like Alibaba started to truly gain momentum when the American giants seemed to have taken over everything related to IT and networks. China is thus “quite new” to all of this. Still, it is now amongst the countries whose netizens are at 57% most likely to book their holidays online, and it keeps increasing at a double-digit pace, with a 25% increase year-over-year in 2014! Comparatively speaking France online holiday booking has increased by only 2.2% in 2014 and by 7% in the US. Bottom line : Western markets seem to have already reached maturity while China is just getting started – so to speak.
Different reasons to travel
The reasons of their travels can be different depending on the destination: developed countries will attract travelers because of luxury goods, especially Western European countries, but also Japan and Hong Kong. Other countries like the Maldives are sought for their beaches and for romantic stays. Hong Kong and Macau are preferred destinations due to their proximity and the fact that Chinese is spoken there.
The main reason of their travel is definitely shopping. They are fond of luxury brands made by Western European countries. Sure, they have these brands in China but they are much more expensive, usually a 30% to 50% price difference. This explains why Chinese were among the biggest spenders in 2014 even though their holidays were much shorter than their western counterparts.