Savvy Chinese consumers will shape future of travel

Update: 2017-10-13

Consumers in China are accustomed to using a range of mobile technologies that are only just beginning to take hold in other countries.

China leads the world in e-commerce and is expected to exceed USD 1.132 trillion in sales this year. That’s nearly half of worldwide e-commerce sales, according to eMarketer and 75% of China’s e-commerce sales will be transacted on mobile devices.

This is just part of the fascinating snapshot of Chinese travel consumers that was provided in a new Skyscanner report that details travel tech trends in the country and how those trends will steer the future of the industry around the globe.

China leads the world in applications to support online shopping, including mobile payments like Alipay and WeChat Pay. Consumers in China are accustomed to browsing and purchasing with a few quick taps on their smartphone screens. They’re also engaged in the shopping process as active reviewers and sharers.

Half of the Chinese digital consumers interviewed for a 2016 McKinsey survey also use social media for product research and to get recommendations. Ultimately, 31% initiated purchases using links promoted on social media platforms.

At the same time travel, like technology, is becoming a major part of life in China. The prosperity brought about by China’s rise as a technology economy has helped fuel a new era of wanderlust, with Chinese consumers traveling both at home and abroad and placing great importance on travel as part of a balanced life.

The report’s big takeaway is that between the country’s rapidly growing number of travelers, the booming aviation sector and the penchant for technology, there’s a major opportunity for airlines and others in the travel industry. That opportunity requires adapting and embracing the Chinese penchant for technology in order to tap into the massive audience of Chinese travelers.

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