According to the second annual Chinese International Travel Monitor released Wednesday by hotel booking website Hotels.com, China has now overtaken the US and Germany to become the world's biggest travel spenders.
The survey was conducted among 3,000 international Chinese travellers and 1,500 hoteliers around the world over May-June 2013. It found that Chinese travellers spent US$102 billion on international travel in 2012, an increase of 40% from 2012, making them bigger spenders that both Germany and the USA.
In addition, 75% of the hoteliers reported that Chinese travellers accounted for up to 5% of their business and 45% of hoteliers reported that over the previous year they experienced an upsurge in the number of Chinese guests. The greatest increase in the number of Chinese tourists in terms of area was seen in the Asia-Pacific region.
The survey also found some interesting trends among the Chinese travelers themselves. Of those surveyed, 62% of Chinese travellers reported that they preferred to travel independently, rather than in a group; this represents a growing trend as previously in 2012 the split between a desire to travel in a group or as an individual was much more evenly divided.
Leisure was the primary reason why Chinese were traveling, with 96% reporting they did so for leisure, although Chinese travellers did have some complaints.
The biggest issue Chinese travellers had was with the provision of translated materials, such as "welcome literature," websites and newspapers from hoteliers, with 75% of Chinese travellers surveyed stating that this was an area that needed improvement. Language was also an issue among hotel staff, with 42% stating that they "would like more Mandarin speaking staff in hotels."