1 out of every 10 international travelers is from China. In addition, Chinese travelers spend more than any other nationality, including Americans.
As a result of China’s large population and rising middle class, Chinese tourists spent a total of $221 billion on their travels abroad in 2016. (Americans, as the second-largest international travel market, only spent $122 billion in 2016.) But what about tourism to the US?
In 2015, 2.6 million Chinese tourists visited the United States where they spent $7,200 per person – a sum that exceeds what any other nationality spent. While tourism in the US is declining among some nationalities as a result of the United States’s currently divided politics, that actually isn’t the case among Chinese tourists, whose demand is as strong as ever.
What do Chinese tourists want though? And how can US companies who cater to international tourist dollars attract more of them as customers? Actually, the answer is surprisingly simple: Chinese tourists want service in Chinese.
When polled, Chinese tourists say that they prefer to receive service in Chinese from Chinese-speaking staff and travel information translated into Chinese.
This isn’t surprising though; just think about your own preferences. We can probably agree that traveling abroad is great fun, but not being able to communicate with your hotel isn’t. Checking in and checking out become that much harder, and making special requests? You can probably forget about getting that extra pillow, some more hand soap or a coveted late checkout.
Chinese travelers currently spend an average of $131 per night on hotel accommodation. Yet, many hotels aren’t prepared for Chinese guests and aren’t making them a priority. However, that’s their loss.
Adding service in Chinese, or expanding and improving their service in Chinese, would go a long way towards helping any hotel to attract and retain more Chinese tourists. After all, Chinese tourists – like most tourists – are happy to spend their travel budgets where they feel the most welcome.
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