A survey shows New Zealand hotels need to up their game to attract more Chinese tourists.
While hotels in this country are focusing their efforts on social media and marketing programmes in a bid to attract Chinese travellers, the investment in on-site services for Chinese guests has decreased, according to the Hotels.com data, with less than 1 per cent spending more than $10,000.
The Hotels.com study identified key areas where hotels could improve their services.
• In-house Mandarin speaking staff was ranked number one by travellers but was low on the list for New Zealand hoteliers, with only 17 per cent currently offering the service and 8 per cent planning to in the next 12 months.
• Chinese payment facilities at hotels, such as Union Pay, rank second for consumers in importance, yet only 12 per cent of NZ hotels currently offer these facilities. Only 18 per cent intend to offer them in the next 12 months.
• Translated travel guides were ranked number four by travellers but were a low in priority for hoteliers; 24 per cent are currently offering this and only 5 per cent are planning to in future.
The responses were in the survey of 3000 Chinese residents who had travelled overseas in the past 12 months.
Hotels.com marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand David Spasovic said the New Zealand tourism industry needed to cater to the new generation of Chinese traveller among the 399,000 who arrived in the year to the end of May.
"Chinese travellers make up New Zealand's second largest inbound tourist market. And as the number of Chinese travellers grows so too do their expectations of new, more adventurous and diverse travel offerings," he said.
"It is important that hoteliers continue to adapt to the evolving needs of this market and develop tailored hotel services that tap into the enormous spending power of Chinese travellers."
The rise of the Chinese "more generation" was a key finding in Hotels.com's annual Chinese International Travel Monitor, with Chinese travellers of all age groups revealed as travelling more often and longer and visiting multiple cities per trip.
The report reveals that tour buses and group travel were on their way out for Chinese travellers, with independent travel now making up 51 per cent, eco-tours 14 per cent, and backpacking 12 per cent, even among older age groups, on the rise.
Shopping no longer holds the attraction it once did for Chinese travellers, taking a 35 per cent drop from last year to 33 per cent. Dining (55 per cent), sightseeing (53 per cent) and rest and relaxation activities (41 per cent) took out the top spots for daily expenditure by Chinese travellers.
About 100 million Chinese travelled overseas last year and the report has revealed that they are spending 28 per cent of their income on average on international travel.
They also intend to spend 10 per cent more on travel in the next 12 months, with New Zealand ranked number seven for most desired global destination, up 5 places from 2016.
Chinese travellers spent US$3600 ($4900) on average around the world in the past 12 months.
This is slightly below the average spend in New Zealand ($5400) during visits which average 18 days, according to Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment figures.