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BLOG: China’s Golden Week: 10 Things to Know About Chinese Luxury Travellers

Posted by in China, Communications, Latest News, Marketing, Public relations, Trends, UK

China National Day Golden Week (黄金周), a seven-day annual national holiday from 1st to 7th October in China, is not far away. It matters because it is the second largest overseas travelling season for Chinese holidaymakers after the annual Chinese New Year. It is a prime times of travel for Chinese holidaymakers and more than ever are choosing to visit Britain. VisitBritain has ambitions to double spend from Chinese visitors to £1 billion annually by 2020.

A recent report by Hurun (2017) found that 49% of Chinese travelers see Europe as their No.1 travel destination choice over the next three years, followed by the Americas (38%) and Africa (37%). That is great news for the UK market. With the depreciation of the British pound post-Brexit, Ctrip estimated that a Chinese holiday to the UK is around 20% cheaper than before, making the UK prime pickings for Chinese travellers this Golden Week.

It is time to start planning your October Golden Week PR and marketing campaign properly in order to capture the enormous opportunities from an influx of Chinese tourists into the UK during this prime week.

Here are the top 10 things you need to know about the Chinese luxury travellers today as part of your strategic planning.

(Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Lee)

  1. The Golden Generation Y—new consumers in the luxury travel market. The post-80s generation has emerged to be the main consumers of luxury travelling, expressing their wish to travel 3.2 times on average in the next year. Chinese millennials currently constitute 40% of China’s outbound travels.
  2. Large travel budget.According to 2016 Luxury Consumer Price Index (CPI), young luxury travellers spend as much as £50,000on tourism per year. 60% of outbound luxury travellersare willing to spend more than RMB 3,000 (roughly £340) for a room night and travel business class or first class.
  3. Demand for customised travel services on the rise.High-end travellers have increasingly switched their preference from traditional guided group tours to customised travel services, placing great emphasis on the efficient logistics and individualised services.
  4. WeChat as the most influential social media platform.In February 2018, China’s social media giant WeChat’s monthly users exceeded 1 billion (World Economic Forum). It is therefore not surprising that WeChat serves as the primary source of travel information for young Chinese luxury travellers, specifically through promotions by subscription accounts, as well as the ‘Moments’ shared by friends.
  5. Experience over price. The uniqueness of the travel experience is the primary consideration for well-off Chinese travellers. A survey by the China National Tourism Administration shows the ‘beauty of tourist attractions’ as the Number 1 factor for choosing a destination, closely followed by safety and ease of visa procedures. The cost of travelling only came the fifth place.
  6. Adrenaline-charged experience. Adventure tourism involving adrenaline-pumping activities, such as polar exploration, has been an emerging element of luxury travelling. As Chinese travellers continuously seek to expand their horizons when it comes to touristic demand, such a theme is expected to continue with great momentum.
  7. Changing profiles of travellers. Over the past decade, there has been a gradual shift in traveler profiles, with wealthy Chinese tourists increasingly coming from Tier 2 or Tier 3 cities, instead of only from top-tier ones, representing an expansion in travel market and changes in consumer demand.
  8. Growing impact of wealthy consumers. There has been a shift in importance from affluent to wealthy consumers in luxury spending. According to McKinsey’s 2017 China Luxury Report, luxury consumption by wealthy Chinese (categorised by household income in excess of RMB300,000 or approximately £34,000) has risen from a third in 2008 to a half in 2017, accounting for 88% of spending in the category.
  9. Brand loyalty matters more than ever. There has been a shift in the primary driver of luxury spending, from traditionally driven by new consumer’s first-time spending to incremental demand from existing ones, according to McKinsey’s 2017 China Luxury Report. This highlights the critical role of effective marketing and branding in securing loyalty from Chinese luxury consumers.
  10. Chinese mobile payment is critical to drive sales.93% of Chinese tourists would consider using mobile payments when traveling overseas if more overseas merchants would accept mobile payments in the future, while 91% would show greater willingness to spend and shop if overseas merchants accept Chinese mobile payment brands.

If you need help to plan your strategic PR and marketing campaign for the October Golden Week, feel free to contact us for free consultancy today. Email us at

(The article is written by our intern Frida Shui and edited by Sally Maier-Yip)

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Sally Maier-Yip is the MD and Founder at 11K. She is a seasoned cross-cultural Public Relations Strategist with a mission to help ambitious companies grow in China, Hong Kong and the UK.

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