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Chinese travelers prefer luxury
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Chinese travelers are now boosting the luxury tour industry in overseas countries.


Thirty-seven percent of travelers heading for overseas countries from China's three major cities choose to stay in four-star hotels, with another 10 percent selecting five-star hotels, based on research by the Nielsen Company and Pacific Asia Travel Association.


The trend that Chinese outbound travelers like to travel in comfort hints that destination countries should better shape strategies and services to cater to the demand of Chinese travelers, analysts said.


Both leisure and business trips included, the research found that travelers from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou spend an average of US$2,923 per trip per person, including expenses prior to the trip such as airfare and accommodation.


Travelers to Europe are the biggest spenders, splashing out an average of US$5,253 per trip. Travelers to Asia spend US$1,904 (excluding those bound for Hong Kong and Macau).


The research surveyed 2,256 people in the three cities through telephone and online interviews.


"Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and the travel industry needs to monitor changes and trends in their travel preferences, attitudes and perceptions," said Grace Pan, head of research with the Nielsen Company.


"While Chinese travelers appear to seek comfort, they are also becoming wise and well-prepared as they plan their trips."


According to the China National Tourism Administration, China saw 34 million overseas trips in 2006, nearly tripling from 2001, marking the first time China surpassed Japan as Asia's largest supplier of outbound travelers.


(Shanghai Daily October 30, 2007)


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