The different kinds of Chinese luxury tourists


Professionals of tourism industry want more and more to attract Chinese tourists. In fact there is nowadays a boom in the Chinese tourism market: there were 83 million Chinese travelling in 2012, and we expect them to be 200 million in 2020. But for these professionals, the key of success is to know the luxury Chinese tourists and their preferences.

ILTM Asia and Hurun worked together in order to do a study about them. This is one of the most complete studies, but we will now focus on differences between 1rst tier cities luxury tourists, and 2nd and 3rd tier cities.

Among the answering people 80% of them were men, and the average age was 37, which is actually quite young for luxury tourists.



Favorite destinations and leisure

1rst tier cities answering people, and those from 2nd and 3rd tier cities had in common the fact that France, the US, and Singapore were in the top 3 favorite destinations.

The frequency of travels of 1rst tier cities people was still a little bit higher than the national average, which is 2,8 trips per year. But there are differences between Beijing and Shanghai: Shanghai luxury tourists also prefer France and the US, but they also prefer Japan in 3rd position, and Korea in 7th position. These two countries are not in the top 10 destination of Chinese travelers in general.

People of Beijing also like a lot New Zealand, which is number 8 in the top 10, and this country is not in the top 10 of Shanghai luxury travelers.


There is also a difference between 1rst tier cities people and 2nd and 3rd tier cities people. There are more people from 2nd and 3rd tier cities who prefer the US (37%) than in 1rst tier cities.

About leisure, the most popular leisure in 1rst tier cities are spas and wine tasting, followed by yoga, tennis and horse riding. While in 2nd and 3rd tier cities, ski is very popular.

luxury China consumers



The study shows that the 1rst reason to make stops during travelling is shopping gifts. 28% of answering people think that the best gifts for men are watches, and 26% think the best gifts are red wine bottles. For women the favorite gifts are jewelry and clothes, but men prefer to buy jewelry for a woman, while women prefer to buy clothes for their friends.

For 1rst tier cities people the best gifts are jewelry, while for 2nd and 3rd tier cities the best gifts are gift cards and travel bags and luggage.

Chinese shopping travellers


80% of answering people think it is better for their children to study abroad, and the average age for going studying abroad is 17. There is a preference for English-speaking countries, but France and Switzerland are becoming more and more popular.

1rst tier cities people prefer to send their children in the US, while New Zealand, which was 1rst in 2011, became only number 10.

2nd and 3rd tier cities people prefer to send their children in England.



It is interesting to notice that France is a favorite destination for luxury travelers, especially people coming from big cities.

In fact it is true that France offers a lot of shopping opportunities, while US are very popular among 2nd and 3rd tier cities people. It means that when you work in the luxury tourism sector you have to target and localize your communication.

We also notice that favorite leisure is different for people coming from 1rst tier cities, and those coming from 2nd and 3rd tier cities. So you have to offer different kinds of trips and leisure. A travel agency should also take care of offering the favorite leisure of 1rst tier cities people like spas, wine tasting, horse riding …

So this study is very interesting, it shows that you have to localize your offers and your communication. The best way for that is to have an internet strategy, and be present on Chinese social media for example. If you want to know the best online tools to attract Chinese tourists read this article.


=>Here is another article about Chinese tourism boom.


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Marketing China