China’s tourism market is the largest in the world — valued at US$260 billion, it’s almost double the size of the second-place U.S. tourism market. What’s even more important right now — China is one of the first countries to recover after their coronavirus-induced lockdown. How can the short term rental industry tap into this market?

Understanding Chinese Travelers

Chinese travelers are interested in new experiences that showcase the unique characteristics of their destination. They also spend more than the average international traveler — according to Rentals United, Chinese travelers spend around 167 EUR per night, which is 12% higher than the average.

These travelers are also likely to book stays within 30 days of their booking date — 60% of Chinese travelers fall into this category.

China’s growing middle class has driven a large population of travelers to the rest of the world — the top countries visited by Chinese travelers are the U.S., Spain, Italy, and the U.K.

How to Cater to China’s Tourism Market

This middle class is also newer than countries like the U.S. and the U.K. — they’ve earned their money in the middle of a worldwide social media revolution. This means that they’re driven by experiences and want to showcase these experiences to their friends on social media.

This makes short term rental properties very enticing for China’s tourist population — more unique stays provide a special experience for travelers to show off to their friends. This has shifted in recent years, as Chinese travelers used to be more interested in staying at hotels.

This focus on social media means interesting experiences become marketing opportunities for short term rental owners, as the market is also driven by recommendations and inspirations from friends and family members. If someone posts about a stay on social media, one of that person’s friends is more likely to examine similar locations.

Now is an opportune time for short term rentals to overtake hotels and be top of mind for Chinese travelers when they consider where to stay. As hotels are struggling to come back, and vacation rentals are experiencing a surge in demand over hotels, the industry needs to capitalize on this momentum and put forward a narrative to attract this massive market of travelers.


photo credit: airbnb

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