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China to become the 2nd largest travel & tourism market by 2013

The travel market in China currently represents $232 billion, with a domestic dominance. Research by Boston Consulting Group suggests that China will surpass Japan as the second‑largest travel and tourism market in the world by 2013.



In 2011, 2.6 billion total trips were taken by Chinese, of which 70 million were to international locations. Rising disposable income and abolition of travel restrictions inside the country has led to a take off in domestic tourism. Relaxation of visa restrictions fuels growth for travel abroad. Visa processing for the USA grew by 46% from Oct 2011 to Mar 2012 compared to same period in 2010-2011.


Digital Luxury Group and Luxury Society are proud to announce the launch of the World Luxury Index™ China Hotels, in a first-time partnership with Luxury Concierge China. Unveiling for the first time, a ranking and analysis of the most searched-for luxury hotel brands specifically in China, based on the unbiased search inputs coming from Google and Baidu.


Our research examines over 65 brands, through 170 million+ searches, from 75 domestic and international locations.




A Preference for Sheraton

The most searched for hotel by Chinese travellers is Sheraton, capturing 13.58% of total luxury hotel searches. This is perhaps unsurprising as Sheraton was the first western hotel brand to operate in China when it launched in 1985.


The brand currently has plans to open 12 new hotels across China in 2012, with plans to raise its Chinese portfolio to 80 properties by 2015.


A look at the searches for Sheraton from the beginning of 2012 show a significant increase starting mid-January and continuing until mid-February. This is most likely an effect of the Chinese New Year, a popular time for travel. Top destinations during this period were Shanghai, Beijing, Dameisha & Chongqing.



Sheraton’s Dameisha Resort, Shenzhen


Domestically, Shanghai

After the nation’s biggest economic hubs, Shanghai (#1) and Beijing (#2), cities Chongqing and Tianjin are most
searched. These locales act as primary gateways to western and northern China, respectively.


Hangzhou, known as “the Switzerland of China” beckons with lakes, mountains, and beautiful countryside (with tea plantations instead of vineyards). Leisure holidays to Sanya, Dameisha and Dalian are very popular due to their weather, nature and cuisine.



Most searched for hotel brands by International location


Internationally, Hong Kong

Proximity, no language barrier and regular and direct flights make business and shopping hubs Hong Kong and Singapore top locations for Chinese travellers.


Interest in travel to New York surges as China is set to become the largest inbound tourist market to the U.S. Dubai has become the most popular destination in the Middle East, as a stable and shopping–oriented city, benefiting from the “approved destination” status given by Chinese authorities in 2009.


The full report is available online at: More detailed data and analysis on a particular segment or brand is available upon request.

SOURCE: LuxurySociety





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