Among the many intractable challenges DMO marketers face, deciding which traveler types to go after is always top-of-mind. One thing is clear though: our industry’s keen interest in the relatively nascent Chinese travel market is well-founded. Not only is the volume of potential visitors from China staggering, Chinese visitors intend to do the one thing that is most desired by destinations–spend a lot of money in market. Our 2018 The State of the International Traveler survey asked likely international travelers to report what they would expect to spend on a two-week vacation in the U.S. The chart at the bottom of this post shows the average amount that travelers from each country say they would expect to spend overall, for shopping and for hotels. Three fun facts about Chinese travelers jump out at us.
- Chinese travelers have, by far, the largest travel budgets. The typical Chinese traveler would budget $6,362 for two weeks in America, or $454 per day, which far surpasses the closest competitor. The second biggest spending country was Australia at $5,355 for a two-week trip, or $383 per day.
- One Chinese traveler’s economic impact equals three Canadians. The sheer difference in terms of expected budget for an American vacation between China and other countries is extraordinary. China’s travel budget gap with other countries is most pronounced when we look at America’s largest contributor of international visitors, Canada.
- Way outside the norm set by other countries, Chinese travelers would also plan to spend more on shopping than on lodging. The typical Chinese traveler would budget $1,888 for shopping and only $1,271 for lodging in hotels. This won’t be music to the hotel revenue manager’s ears, as that represents a meager $91.78 per day. Chinese travelers’ budget for shopping is almost as large as the entire trip budget of Canadian visitors. It is more than double that of most other countries studied. When it comes to retail spending around a destination, nobody compares.
Average Expected Travel Budgets: Two Week Vacation in America
Source: The State of the International Traveler, 2018, Destination Analysts, Inc. A survey of over 800 likely international leisure travelers in each of 14 of America’s biggest feeder markets.