Adventure holidays gain traction among Chinese super travellers

WHILE island getaways have been a favourite with Chinese luxury travellers, adventure and medical tourism are hotting up among what Hurun Report calls the ‘super tourists’.

Based on a recent survey conducted with Diadema, which develops thematic leisure tours for the Chinese market, 48 per cent of the 203 respondents picked ‘natural adventure’, followed by ‘self drive’ and ‘South Pole and North Pole’ as travel experiences they dream of splurging on.

Currently, ‘island holiday’ as well as ‘food and shopping’ are among the top three done-before travel experiences, but both categories are predicted to drop to fourth and eighth positions in time.

When asked if the sample size was too small to be conclusive, chairman and chief researcher, Rupert Hoogewerf, told TTG Asia e-Daily that it was significant that these were the opinions of “experienced travellers who have been to 40 countries or more”, which would indicate the general direction for other high net worth individuals in China.

In terms of must-achieve travel within the next three years, South America – Bolivia topped the list, followed by South Pole/North Pole and Africa, “destinations that have a strong sense of adventure and excitement”, the findings stated.

Hoogewerf also made special mention about medical tourism, which is starting to trend upwards.

According to the same study, 47 per cent of the ‘super tourists’ go to Europe and the US for medical tourism, with Switzerland as most popular, then the US. Within Asia, Japan and Hong Kong are first and second respectively.

Convalescence ranked first as the main purpose, followed by medical check-ups, anti-ageing, cosmetic, medical treatment and childbirth.

Backing this up, Lausanne-based Swiss Health Centre operation manager, Yulan Sheng, told TTG Asia e-Daily that the wellness facility sees five to six Chinese clients a month, who mainly come for its anti-ageing cell therapy and health check-ups. Its four-day package costs about 32,000 euros (US$43,533).

“We think more will be interested as Switzerland is very famous for healthcare, while China doesn’t have technology (that’s as advanced) yet. We’re looking at about 10 clients a month.”

As for adventure travel, Easy Trip China COO, Leong Zhang, felt it would still take quite a lot of education before Chinese travellers fully embrace such luxury experiences.

“They still want to spend their money on shopping,” he explained.

Produced in conjunction with ILTM Asia, the Hurun Report’s The Chinese Luxury Traveler (2014) also includes the results from its annual Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey, which highlights among other things, top 15 hotel brands and destinations.

Hurun Report is a luxury publishing and events group, comprising a magazine and active events business targeted at China’s high net worth individuals.

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