Understanding the Young Chinese Traveller

  • 11 June 2019


The Chinese traveller has been a discussion point for several years but, as we start to see a younger demographic on the travel scene, are we ready to serve up the right goods to this audience?

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) has announced that its in-depth research into the shopping behaviour, perceptions and expectations of young Chinese travellers, commissioned in partnership with TFWA, is now available exclusively through both associations’ websites.

APTRA and TFWA members have free access to the full 132-page report ‘Understanding Young China 2019′, which was prepared by NPD Travel Retail based on interviews with over 2,000 travellers aged 18-30, with a benchmark comparison of over 1,000 older Chinese travellers.

Grant Fleming, President APTRA, commented: “Arguably the young Chinese traveller is the single most important consumer group for travel retail.

“This comprehensive study, containing a wealth of previously unexplored data, will help us to better understand the 18-30 segment, a generation with a strong affinity with digital and e-commerce channels. It will enable our members to tailor commercial strategies to meet the needs of this important customer, making this research vital for any brand, retailer or landlord serious about doing business in Asia Pacific.

“Access to relevant data at both a regional and consumer level is undoubtedly one of the most valuable benefits of being an APTRA member.”

Besides exploring the perceptions of airport, border and downtown stores, the purchase motivations and the product preferences, the research also analyses the role of digital in the store/shopper relationship and offers insight to the “daigou” shopping phenomenon.

In addition to the quantitative analysis, NPD conducted 60 in-depth interviews with young Chinese buyers, non-buyers and non-shoppers in the duty free & travel retail zones of three major airports: Guangzhou, Singapore Changi and London Heathrow.

The results will be of immense benefit to APTRA and TFWA members. When optimising the product range to suit this demographic, it is important to understand that browsing is important to them, and that beauty and fashion currently enjoy the highest conversion rates.

Attractive pricing and the authenticity of products are key drivers for purchase among younger Chinese. They want to buy brands they trust, but which offer a point of difference from the domestic market, underlining the importance of travel-exclusive lines.

36% of young Chinese travellers declared that interaction with staff in-store was a key reason to shop, which points to an opportunity for staff to engage with shoppers to boost travel retail sales.

The full report and executive summary are available exclusively on the “Members Only” section of the APTRA website www.aptra.asia and via www.tfwa.com for TFWA members.

Anyone wishing to join APTRA and access this report and other services should contact Sharolyn Paul at [email protected].

TFWA members seeking more information on the report are invited to contact Sabine Parmentier at [email protected].



APTRA is the trade association for the duty free and travel retail industry in the Asia Pacific region, serving all members and the industry to help grow the business and protect it when challenges arise.

  • Through technology-led initiatives, seminars and conferences, APTRA serves to facilitate contact between members;
  • Through intensive consumer and market research, APTRA provides a solid knowledge bank, bringing valuable, actionable data relevant to all sectors;
  • Through regular communication, APTRA seeks to spread awareness and knowledge about the industry and the importance of travel retail for governments, airports, airlines and related businesses;
  • Through regional monitoring, and in collaboration with member companies and trade associations in other parts of the world, APTRA is constantly on the alert for new challenges where its advocacy on behalf of the industry is needed with national governments and policy-makers in order to safeguard and grow the business of all concerned.

The geographical area covered by APTRA includes countries in Eastern Asia, South Eastern Asia, South Central Asia and Oceania. www.aptra.asia

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