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Chinese travelers rely on word-of-mouth

Mainland Chinese still prefer to seek first-hand information from someone they know over other third party sources when deciding where to travel on holiday, a research study shows.

In a recent GfK study carried out among Chinese travelers, more than half of the respondents  said they rely on their personal contacts such as friends, family and colleagues to get travel related information. 

Meta search websites and online travel agent websites jointly trailed behind in close second positions at 51 percent.

“Even with the proliferation and growing consumer dependency on the internet for all kinds of information, the local norm of seeking information via word of mouth still prevails here,” said Lawrence Liew, North Asia director for travel and hospitality at GfK. 

“However, the growing influence of the internet cannot be avoided, as the other top sources of travel information are still online touch points.”

When it comes to making the actual booking, online supersedes offline as the preferred channel, occupying 63 percent share of the market. Amongst the online booking channels, Online Travel Agents  websites are most popular, used by 46 percent of all travelers. However, different trends have surfaced for making bookings for various regional destinations. For instance, traditional travel agencies still retain their competitive edge when it comes to Asian countries, while online channels are more commonly used for Europe and Oceania destinations.

According to GfK findings, Asia is the most travelled region for Chinese travelers in the short term, with 78 percent of respondents confirming their travel plans to countries in this region. Top three destinations are Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong, with Japan and Singapore trailing behind. 

GfK is a market and consumer research with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries.


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