China's women leading the international tourism charge, says report
There's been plenty of evidence presented to convince the world that China is fast rising towards becoming the most influential international tourism market there is but a new report gets a little more specific with the details.
Not only should the world be catering to the needs of the Chinese traveler, apparently, it should be catering to the needs of Chinese women in particular.
The "2010 Trend Report of Women's Travel" claims the amount spent on travel by "well educated and well-paid" single Chinese women rose to 4,300 yuan (468 euros) last year - up 20 percent year-on-year, eclipsing the nine percent rise in the same figure for men.
And while that may not seem a massive amount on face value alone, cobble the detail together with the knowledge that an estimated 65 million Chinese will travel overseas this year - and an estimated 100 million by 2020 - -and we're talking pretty significant numbers by anyone's standards.
The report has been released by Qunar.com - the world's largest Chinese-language online travel search engine - and it also claims that in China women are responsible for 65 percent of decisions made about travel products and expenditure.
Women are apparently also more prone to letting their feelings be known about their holiday experiences - they are responsible for 70 percent of comments on hotels left on the website, according to the report.
In China already the tourism industry has picked up on the trend and is working hard to address the specific needs of the female traveler.
As well as holidays themed around such activities as shopping and healthcare, hotels such as the Le Meridien ( http://www.starwoodhotels.com) in the southern city of Xiamen have created special floors with rooms more suited, they believe, to the female traveler. These rooms include increased sound insulation, fresh fruit, yoga mats, face masks and hangers for silk clothes, according to reports in the Chinese media.
Canny tourism operators might also want to jot down a few ideas when next sat in front of their TV or in a cinema, too, as the report claims that Chinese women are prone to travel to destinations they see in popular romantic films and TV dramas.
More news on how the modern-day woman travels is expected to be revealed this week at the ITB Berlin ( http://www1.messe-berlin.de) fair - which markets itself as the "world's leading travel trade show."
The event - which runs March 9-13 - has down as part of its agenda the release of the United Nations Women's Global Report on Women in Tourism 2010 on March 10.
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