Mark Tanner
Mark Tanner
22 July 2015 0 Comments

If you’re looking for a jaw-dropping illustration of China’s growing presence in the world, go no further than the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s outbound tourism expenditure chart from the world’s largest economies over the past 20 years.

Between 1995-2007, Chinese tourists’ total spending was similar to countries like Italy and Canada.  But over the past eight years, China’s growth projectile has been almost vertical relative to the rest of the world, leaving every other country behind.  This growth is set to continue for some time yet. 

China’s tourism growth is almost matched by the rate of change of the tourists themselves. For example, last year 53% planned or booked their overseas travel online. 80% did this year. Over the same 12-month period, the number researching and booking on a smartphone app grew from 17% to 50% of all travellers according to Hotels.com research.  Consequently, the number who phoned or visited a travel agent dropped from 34% to 13%. 

Changing traveller habits are being supported by improving experience from suppliers. New visa offices for European countries, 10-year visas from the U.S., and more recently Australia, are some examples of how the whole experience is improving for tourists and enabling them to travel without relying on agents to source visas.   

With experiences improving, so are expectations – at an equally swift rate.  Tourism destinations and operators who implement Chinese customer-focused initiatives are most likely to have satisfied visitors and best capitalise on Chinese tourism’s growth – China Skinny can help with that.  We hope you enjoy this week’s Skinny.

Consumers,  Chinese Consumers


China Retail Sales Up 10.4% In H1China’s consumption continues to play a bigger role in the economy with retail sales for the first half of 2015 up 10.4% compared to last year – almost 50% higher than the 7% Q2 GDP growth rate. Consumption contributed 51.2% to GDP growth in 2014, three percentage points more than 2013.

Calibrating Chinese CreativityChina as a whole may not be at the cutting edge of technology innovation, but it is now taking a global lead in two areas of innovation: improving consumer products and the business models used to sell them.  It is making manufacturing processes cheaper, quicker and better. As a result, Chinese firms now outsell foreign rivals in household appliances, Internet software and consumer electronics, to name a few. Chinese firms are inventing new business models, demonstrated by firms like Tencent who had an average revenue of $16 per user in 2014 – $6 more than Facebook.

How Brands Rode Out Uniqlo’s Sex Tape Scandal On WeiboChina’s latest social media sensation has inspired a slew of brands and users to jump on the bandwagon and produce cheeky content.

Overseas Chinese Tourists


The Explosive Growth In Chinese Spending On Tourism, In One Stunning ChartLook out world, here we come!

Half Of New Asian Hotel Rooms To Rise In ChinaNot only are Chinese tourists making their mark globally, but also in their own country. 56% of all hotels under construction in the fast growing Asia-Pacific region, are in China. That’s 452 new hotels with 145,167 rooms.

Tech-Savvy Chinese Travellers Use Mobile Devices To Book Half Of All Trips AbroadHalf of all Chinese travellers use smartphone apps to book and plan travel – up from 17% a year ago.

Disney Unveils Tomorrowland for Chinese in $5.5 Billion ParkShanghai Disney – the largest foreign investment from world’s biggest entertainment company – will be “authentically Disney, distinctly Chinese,” trying to include as much local content as possible to appeal to Chinese consumers and avoid complaints of cultural imperialism that greeted its resort in France.

Online: Internet & Mobile


Third Of Chinese Media Time Is On MobileChinese consumers are expected to spend 3 hours 5 minutes daily on digital media this year – about half overall time spent consuming media. Over two hours will be spent on smartphones and tablets. Daily time on digital media grew 6.8% versus 3% for media overall.

China Mobile Nears 200 Million 4G SubscribersChina Mobile broke through 190 million 4G subscribers in late June. The mobile operator has more than 900,00 4G nodes across China – about 40% of the world’s total. There are close to 700 million 3G and 4G mobile users in China now, allowing richer mobile marketing initiatives.

Premium Food & Beverage


Younger And More Sophisticated Drinkers Mark A New Era For Wine In ChinaOver 40% of imported wine drinkers in China are now 18-29 year-olds, and they are increasingly moving away from the ‘mainstream’ French or Spanish wines to new regions and styles, according to Wine Intelligence.

Australian Wine Exports To China Rise In ValueWine exports to China grew 32.1% in the past year, helping pull the country’s overall wine exports to its first growth in value since 2007.

Clothes and Fashion


Burberry Sales Growth Sapped By Asian Shoppers’ ShiftBurberry’s Chinese customers globally are growing in all markets except Hong Kong and Macau, which dragged the company’s Asia-Pacific sales into negative growth over the past quarter. About 80% of the Burberry’s sales in Hong Kong come from tourists, most of whom are Chinese.

Music and Entertainment


Survey Says More Chinese Moviegoers Buy Tickets Online; Low Ticket Prices A Win-Win To ConsumersMore than half of Chinese movie goers bought tickets online in the first half of the year. Of the $4.77 billion spent on movie tickets in China last year, about $2.2 billion were online transactions.

Pollution &: Environment


Self-Protection Investment Exacerbates Air Pollution Exposure Inequality In Urban ChinaChinese consumers bought 4.5 million anti-smog products online in 2013, totalling ¥870 million ($143 million). The highest 25% income earners bought 31.9% of masks and 47.9% of air filters sold.

Autos and Cars


Changing Chinese Habits Help Mazda Outstrip Rivals In Slowing MarketMazda’s sporty design philosophy has clicked with an emerging class of Chinese drivers, pushing revenue up 17% in the first half of the year, smashing sluggish overall car growth of 1.4%. Mazda’s China-focused features include air-conditioning vents for the backseat and double horns given the heavy usage in the country.

That’s the Skinny for the week! See previous newsletter here. Contact China Skinny for marketing, research and digital advice and implementation.