Digital insights firm 6Estates’ research on outbound Chinese travellers shows that distinctive local brands are as desirable as luxury brands to Chinese consumers.
Digital insights firm 6Estates’ research on outbound Chinese travellers going to the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore has identified their top in-country destinations, product categories and luxury brands. The research is based on an analysis of nearly 300,000 online conversations drawn from Chinese social platforms and travel websites during Q4 2015.
For brands and companies seeking to capture the US$229-billion outbound Chinese retail spend, this research offers insights into real-time conversations and sentiments about what attracts Chinese travellers to a country, destination and product. The online conversations have been analysed using Natural Language Processing (NLP), algorithms that accurately process authentic conversations in English and Chinese, providing more accurate context to the discussion.
The research shows that most respondents intend to travel to the US, with 46% of conversations about America, followed by Japan (26%), Hong Kong (21%) and Singapore (5%). Luxury goods, cosmetics, clothing and watches were identified as key product categories for the outbound Chinese traveller in all four countries. They also intend to shop at luxury brands Hermès, Chanel and Estée Lauder in at least three of the countries studied.
“We were able to pinpoint top destinations within each country, valuable information for tourism boards and retailers targeting tourists. In Japan, for example, we worked with one of the country’s leading advertising agencies to find out where Chinese tourists travelled to, and what they were saying about their experiences.
“With the findings, it will be possible to develop more targeted tourism campaigns that speak directly to the Chinese audience,” said 6Estates CEO and co-founder Gary Chin.
Chin continued: “We also found that the Chinese traveller is looking for local brands. In the US, they talk about Coach, in Singapore it’s Charles & Keith, Sasa in Hong Kong and Uniqlo in Japan. Singapore was the only country where food was a hot topic among travellers, with local barbecued pork delicacy brand Bee Cheng Hiang among the top brands Chinese travellers talked about.”
The data found that Chinese travellers originate mainly from China’s Tier 1 cities, including Shanghai and Beijing. The two cities have the highest incomes in the country, demonstrating that travellers are likely to be affluent. According to the China National Tourism Association, 120 million Chinese travelled abroad last year, a 19.5% year-on-year increase and nearly 13 times the level in 1998. A report by Fung Business Intelligence Centre and China Luxury Advisors states that Chinese tourists’ overseas expenditures are expected to have reached US$229 billion in 2015. ra