Travelzoo report: 70% of Chinese tourists prefer travel app bookings

Luxury brands and retailers need to cater to digitally savvy Chinese travellers who are keen on using mobile apps when planning and booking trips, according to a new Travelzoo survey of 6,000 of its members from Asia, Europe and North America.

The research finds that their willingness to embrace mobile technology is far greater than in Europe or the United States.

In the new report, international travel deals website Travelzoo reveals that the Chinese are the most enthusiastic users of travel apps among the nationalities surveyed. Travelzoo reveals that more than 85% of its Chinese respondents say using an app is ‘the easiest’ way to book tour packages, flights, cruises and other forms of travel. Meanwhile, about 70% of Chinese respondents say they plan to use a travel app to prepare for a holiday in the future.

While other nationalities are a long way behind the Chinese in their enthusiasm for booking holidays via an app, they are less reluctant to arrange part of a trip this way. For instance, 62% of Spanish and 54% of Americans respondents expect to use a travel app to book accommodation for their next holiday.

Travel booking sites need to ensure they have a polished, interactive and personalised travel app, without forgetting those who prefer to make plans directly with travel agents, comments Travelzoo. With 242 million Chinese travellers estimated to be heading abroad annually by 2024, bookings specialists such as Travelzoo are looking to gain market share in the growing apps market, and they can do so with perks such as loyalty programs and deals if they use customer data mining correctly. Travelzoo’s survey shows that loyalty programmes are a top driver for about 69% of its Chinese members.

Review sites also have a significant impact on the travel decisions Chinese consumers make when they travel overseas, says Travelzoo. While the survey shows that about 69% of respondents from across the globe rely on travel-deal websites more than guidebooks, travel agents or review sites when it comes to making initial decisions, Chinese respondents say that review sites are the top resource they consider when making the final decision on a trip itinerary. This preference was highlighted recently when Ctrip became the third most-used review site for hotel feedback, just behind TripAdvisor and and just ahead of Facebook, according to the report.

However, the Travelzoo report reveals that Chinese consumers’ apparent willingness to use smartphone apps to make travel plans isn’t without issues. Travelzoo reports that payment security concerns are a concern for 36% of Chinese respondents and, while the travel bookings app market certainly has room to grow, security concerns about mobile payments might hold back growth.

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