Chinese Luxury Travellers: Travel Trends For The Next Three Years

According to the report ‘The Chinese Luxury Traveller 2017’ by Hurun Report and International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTM Asia), around world travel and polar exploration are the most anticipated travel trends for Chinese luxury travellers in the next three years, accounting for 43% and 36% of respondents, while outdoor adventure (26%) follows immediately behind. In contrast with data from two years ago, luxury travellers are expanding their horizons, travelling not only for leisure but also to satisfy their individual tastes. This includes island-hopping and culinary tours or wine-tasting, both of which make an appearance in the top ten anticipated travel trends ranking.

Young luxury travellers still love Island with Beach, with 30% of respondents expecting to go on an Island with Beach travel in the next three years. As new additions to the list, culinary tours and wine-tasting trips along with art and culture tours are also well-received by the Post-80s generation, ranking fourth (27%) and seventh (16%) respectively. Last year’s favourite—cruise trips—drop out of favour by 14% and now rank eight.Img1

Travel destinations for the next three years

Europe, a classic destination, remains first at 49% with the Americas (38%) and Africa (37%) following in second and third place. For the Post-80s generation, Europe is still the most sought after destination (46%), but there has been a 19% fall in numbers from last year. In contrast, Africa (36%) and the Polar Regions (32%) have experienced a 13% and 15% surge in popularity, coming in at third and fourth place.img2

Activities respondents would like to try in the next three years

Horseback riding, surfing, and sailing are the top three activities high net-worth individuals would like to try the most in the next three years. Art  collecting comes in at fourth place, paragliding in fifth, while other activities on the list include marathon running, rock climbing, bungee jumping, and fasting.


Popular travel destinations in the summer and fall

Many luxury travellers choose to beat the heat on Island with Beach, whether that is in Phuket (27%), the Maldives (18%) , Bali(12%) , Fiji (13%) ,  Hawaii (10%), or Sanya (16%). The Post-80s generation seems to echo these sentiments, as all seven ranked destinations are islands, with the Maldives and Thailand’s Phuket in first and second place.


Respondents have been to their destinations of choice an average of six times, and they plan to return to their favourite locations twice in the next three years. Respondents prefer to travel with family or friends, with an average of three people per trip. There is no strong preference for Economy (48%) or Business (45%) class, as ticket price is a concern in shorter excursions.

Popular travel destinations in the winter and spring

In the cool, drier spring and winter seasons, the Post-80s generation and other generations alike rank Japan, Thailand, and Australia in their top three. With high net-worth individuals recently displaying an increased interest in sports and outdoor adventures, skiing has become a favourite in the winter months.  Japan (32%),  South Korea (10%),  Canada (8%), and  Switzerland(7%)  are all home to world-class ski resorts. For luxury travellers who do not enjoy extreme sports, escaping the cold remains an important reason for travel; Thailand (18%), Sanya (12%), Australia (16%), and New Zealand (9%) are all good choices for this purpose. Thailand’s Phuket is the only destination to be on both the Summer/Fall and Spring/Winter lists.


A higher percentage of travellers (20%) choose to travel First Class in the spring and winter as travel destinations tend to have longer flight times, thus comfort becomes a necessity instead of an option.

Preferred travel destination overall

Maldives was crowned the preferred international luxury travel destination. Domestically, Sanya is still the number one preferred luxury travel destination for the seventh consecutive year.


Market for customized travel services expanding

The market for customized travel services will expand among Chinese luxury travellers in the future. 40% of respondents express their wish to use customized travel services in the next three years, while only 10% prefer the more traditional guided group tours.

In the next year, 59% of respondents still do not have pre-planned holidays. Those who plan to travel during the October National Holiday (22%), the summer (18%), and Chinese New Year (17%) are in the minority. For domestic luxury travellers, whether or not the destination is visa-free is not a primary concern (77%). The Post-80s generation hope to travel an average of 3.2 times in the next year.


Hurun Research Institute carried out the survey between March and May in association with three of China’s leading luxury travel agencies: DiademaMagic TravelHHtravel and 8 Continents. The respondents to this survey were drawn from the ranks of China’s high-end tourists, comprised of 334 aggregate samples from 12 mainland Chinese cities, including the first-tier cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, and the second-tier cities Tianjin, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Qingdao, Dalian, and Fuzhou. Respondents average 42 years of age and 41 percent are male, with per capita wealth of nearly 22 million yuan ($32,000). Forty-one percent of them are male. Their wealth mainly comes from investment (49 percent), salary (37 percent) and company ownership (21 percent).  Seventy percent of them are married, and half have one child, while 27 percent have two. On average, they have worked or studied abroad for 1.4 years. They were more enthusiastic about shopping on their travels than in 2015, with 220,000 yuan of their average travel budgets of 380,000 yuan devoted to retail therapy, up 57 percent year-on-year.

Source:, 05 June 2017

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