Easyjet changes their hold bag rules

EasyJet’s new rules means that if you can pack up...

Cruises of a Lifetime You Can Actually Afford!

Whether you’re an experienced cruiser or a newbie,...

What’s Your Island IQ?

The Caribbean brings to mind azure waters and postcard-perfect...

Europe’s Coolest Cycling Tour

Terroir. Spend any time in one of the world’s...

10 Beautiful Beach Town Bargains for Fall

To tell the truth, here at Budget Travel we’ve...

8 Great Labor Day Weekend Getaways

Labor Day weekend may be just around the corner, but...

The Right—and Wrong—Way to Pay for Your Dream Trip

I’m short on cash. Should I put my vacation on...

Insiders’ Guide to the Caribbean

ST. MARTIN If there’s any complaint about this...

8 Mistakes That Will RUIN Your Weekend Getaway!

When Budget Travel asked whether it would be worth...

Upgrade Secrets from the Experts!

I have a long, transcontinental flight coming up. I...

«
»
  1. Destinations
  2. More News
  3. Featured
  4. Travel tips
  5. Trip ideas

Fundana Villas

Price From $63 If there’s any doubt whether Spyros...

The Right—and Wrong—Way to Pay for Your Dream Trip

I’m short on cash. Should I put my vacation on...

Sources: Airlines warned to beware of possible shoe bombs

The U.S. government has warned airlines to pay particular...

Garbis Villas

Price From $70 Cephalonia is the largest of the Ionian...

Ireland, Air, Car, 6 Nights, From $810

The Real Deal Vacation package to Ireland includes...

Thailand travel: 10 essential Chiang Mai experiences

(CNN) — With spectacular mountains, vibrant hill...

10 Best Budget Vacations for Summer

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK Idaho, Montana, Wyoming Who’s...

Paris, Air, 6 Nights, From $1,199

The Real Deal Vacation package to Paris includes airfare...

First cycling day trip to North Korea launched from China

Exploring the mysterious nation of North Korea just...

Europe’s Coolest Cycling Tour

Terroir. Spend any time in one of the world’s...

9 Great Tips For Budget-Conscious Travelers

This article was written by Peggy Goldman, President...

15 Incredible Things to Do in Iceland

The average person probably knows one of three things...

Q&A: Should I pay in local currency or pound sterling?

When on holiday when paying for an item in a shop I...

10 Best Budget Vacations for Summer

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK Idaho, Montana, Wyoming Who’s...

Take a Heartland Road Trip!

His great-great-grandfather founded the town in the...

100% Vampire-proof: Hungary’s best wine cellars

It may lie in Szepasszonyvolgy — or what locals...

Sources: Airlines warned to beware of possible shoe bombs

The U.S. government has warned airlines to pay particular...

Cruises of a Lifetime You Can Actually Afford!

Whether you’re an experienced cruiser or a newbie,...

Auberge du Presbytere

Price From $86 The old stone presbytery dominates the...

Europe’s Coolest Cycling Tour

Terroir. Spend any time in one of the world’s...

First rule of Chinese tourism: Give them what they want «

First rule of Chinese tourism: Give them what they want

Editor’s note: This month’s episode of On China with Kristie Lu Stout focuses on China’s outbound tourism and airs for the first time on Thursday, May 29, 4:30 pm Hong Kong/Beijing time. For all viewing times and more information about the show click here.

Beijing (CNN) — As the global travel industry rolls out the welcome mat for China’s surge of outbound tourists, it should consider tipping the scales in their customers’ favor.

Consider Emirates Airline, which has won over retail-crazy Chinese travelers by simply boosting their baggage allowance.

“They increased their luggage allowance because they recognized when Chinese travelers go abroad, they come home with more than when they left,” says Martin Rinck, Asia-Pacific president of Hilton Worldwide.

“And just by making that change, they won tremendous market share of the Chinese consumer.”

On China: China outbound tourism trends

On China: China outbound tourism trends For the latest CNN “On China” program, I talked to a panel of industry insiders about how to cater to China’s rush of outbound tourists.

Fittingly, we filmed our discussion inside Beijing Capital International Airport — a rare opportunity for an international TV network. The airport is on track to become the world’s busiest passenger hub.

That’s not a surprise, given the boom in Chinese business and leisure travel. By 2020, it’s estimated more than 200 million Chinese will go overseas — double the number that did so last year.

“It has been one of the biggest dreams for Chinese travelers to go outside and travel overseas,” says Chen Xu, a Beijing-based researcher at the Chinese Tourism Academy, a government think-tank that studies tourism trends.

“And now the government has lifted restrictions on outbound travel, so for more Chinese, it’s much easier to travel abroad.”

Fueled by more visas and more money, rising numbers of Chinese tourists are now able to fly further and spend more, many booking their own adventures online on travel sites like China’s CTrip.com.

“We just recently sold a very top-end package tour which is $200,000 per person for 88 days around the world,” says CTrip.com Chief Operating Officer Jane Sun.

We just recently sold a very top-end package tour which is $200,000 per person for 88 days around the world.

Jane Sun, CTrip.comShe asks me to guess how long it took to sell the package. I play along: “Eight minutes?”

“17 seconds,” she says with a smile.

Without a doubt, the interest and buying power of China’s ultra-luxury travelers is immense. Across the board, China’s outbound tourists are the world’s biggest spenders. In 2012, they spent a record $102 billion on international tourism.

And major booking volume is moving across mobile devices.

“More than 50% of our hotel bookings are on mobile,” says CTrip.com’s Sun.

Hilton’s Martin Rinck adds: “China skipped the whole desktop/MacBook/computer thing and went straight to mobile.”

“Some companies are really proud to have a new website, but if it doesn’t have the functionality to be read on a small device and have full integration on a mobile device, it’s really of no use.”

It’s also of no use if you don’t welcome your Chinese guests in Mandarin Chinese.

“We do this outbound Chinese travelers survey every quarter,” says CTA’s Chen Xu. “And we noticed that last year, for four consecutive seasons, lacking Chinese service and lacking Chinese-language TV programs or menus were the most unsatisfying factors.”

“As a business, you probably have to provide more Chinese-language services,” he adds.

CTrip.com company data is in line with CTA’s quarterly surveys.

“On our website, we rank the hotels and the sites,” says Sun. “The hotels with Chinese services are ranked higher than the other hotels.”

And does that influence consumer choice?

“Absolutely.”

In 2011, Hilton Hotels & Resorts launched “Hilton Huanying,” a welcome program tailored for Chinese travelers. In a number of Hilton properties outside China, it rolled out China UnionPay terminals, front desk staff fluent in Chinese, and a range of tailored in-room amenities like Chinese-language TV and tea kettles.

“We started the program in August 2011 with 15 participating hotels outside of China,” Rinck tells me.

“We now have 82, and those hotels doubled their percentage of Chinese travelers in a period of just two years.”

It’s a clear message for the global travel industry: Tune those screens to Chinese TV and boost that baggage allowance. It pays to understand the needs of the 200 million tourists coming your way.

Destinations

Hotels

Real deals

Travel News

Travel tips

Trip ideas