Gone is the “BUY BUY BUY” mentality among many travellers in the
modern world. While the Parisian streets of Champs-Élysées once used to
teem with flocks of tourists frantically buying designer products by the
bulk, today’s tourists are forking out the dough on experiences
instead, including Chinese travellers who used to be some of the biggest
shopaholics in the world.
According to a McKinsey survey, Chinese traveller interest in
visiting cultural or historical sites have gained popularity, increasing
from 39% to 44%. Cultural and historical trips are now rated as the
second most preferred activity for leisure trips, surpassing beach and
resort vacations, health and wellness escapes, and family-friendly
holidays. Outdoor scenic destinations still remain the most popular
choice, while shopping and dining has completely dropped off the radar.
The growing interest for cultural immersion is not going unseen by
the travel trade. Many tour operators have taken to increasing cultural
offerings, like Trafalgar’s Be My Guest experiences that bring
travellers to the homes or home-grown businesses of locals in the region
and allows guests to experience the very essence of the region’s local
Hospitality players are also starting to roll out with initiatives
that cater to this market demand, such as Raffles Hotels and Resorts’
new range of experiences that delves into the heritage of each
destination that its hotels reside in.
Like every post-pandemic traveller in the current market, the
pandemic that has kept people cooped up in their own country for three
years is similarly affecting the Chinese traveller’s shifting mindset to
move away from functional travel and to learn something new or have a
transformative personal experience during their holidays.
in McKinsey’s survey additionally showed an immense preference for
high-end hotels, far surpassing that of mid-tier and budget hotels. It
is found that loyalty among hotel guests is established with good
experiences, unique offerings, memorable services and convenience,
instead of being driven by points or discounts. However, price and
promotions still play an important role, especially among the older
Travel companies may find that they can further drive business by
fronting unique experiences in conjunction with loyalty programmes or
discounts. And in this fluid travel landscape where consumer demands are
still taking shape, diversifying travel offerings and exploring
personalised experiences that cater to each traveller’s unique desires
can potentially forge long-term sustainable growth.