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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Marketing to Senior Travellers (Incl Impact of COVID-19) - China market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

As is the case globally, the Chinese travel market has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak during the first quarter of 2020. However, since lifting the lockdown in April, the travel market in China has started to recover, but at a slow pace. The Tomb-Sweeping holiday in April and Labour Day holiday in May have seen more consumers going out, but the market is still going to experience a significant decline compared to 2019.

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Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Saskia Zhao, a leading analyst in the Tourism sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Seniors will become an important consumer group in the future travel market, not only because the growth in the population of seniors and their travel frequency, but more importantly because they are among the first group of consumers to pick up travel after COVID-19, due to more stable disposable income. COVID-19 has temporarily held back senior travellers, but this will not change their desire for travelling Saskia Zhao
Tourism Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Report Scope
          • Figure 1: Consumer classification by spending on the most expensive trip taken during the past two years
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • A market of growing importance
                • Figure 2: Senior travellers’ volume, 2015-22
                • Figure 3: Projection of population by age group, 2018-22
              • Travelling is a preferred leisure activity among seniors
                • COVID-19 may shift segment importance but does not change market positivity in the long term
                  • Figure 4: Short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19 on Travel
                • The consumer
                  • Not falling far behind younger generations
                    • Figure 5: Participation of domestic and overseas travel, December 2019
                  • Most are independent decision-makers
                    • Figure 6: Travel decision makers, December 2019
                  • Group tour is still popular, but demand for smaller groups likely to grow post COVID
                    • Figure 7: Penetration of different forms of travel among seniors, December 2019
                  • High spending seniors are those in early 50s
                    • Figure 8: Travel spending by seniors, December 2019
                  • Mental fulfilment is a key travel motivation
                    • Figure 9: Reasons for travel, December 2019
                  • Cultural sites more appealing than natural sites
                    • Figure 10: Interested travel activities among seniors, December 2019
                  • ”Volume” and “fame” still matter in seniors’ choices
                    • Figure 11: Seniors’ consideration factors for choosing travel products, December 2019
                  • A balanced leisure time between personal interests and families
                    • Figure 12: Seniors’ attitudes towards travel and leisure time – leisure time priority, December 2019
                  • Offline still matters to seniors
                    • Figure 13: Seniors’ attitudes towards travel and leisure time – product purchasing, December 2019
                  • What we think
                  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Travel

                    • Short, mid and long term
                      • Figure 14: Summary of impact of COVID-19 on Travel
                    • Opportunities and Threats
                      • Big brands may win as a result of consumers’ growing attention to hygiene and quality standard
                        • Financial uncertainty pushes consumers to be more value-driven
                          • Impact on the market
                            • What we’ve seen so far
                              • Senior travellers’ volume expected to return to pre-COVID level by 2021
                                • Figure 15: Spending changes in the last month – holidays, by age, March and April 2020
                                • Figure 16: Confidence in future financial situation, by age, March and April 2020
                                • Figure 17: Senior travellers’ volume, in person-times (m), 2015-22
                              • Shifts in Consumer Behaviour
                                • More attention to hygiene
                                  • Figure 18: Frequency of doing sanitary practices in the last month, by age, March and April 2020
                                • Advanced booking through digital channels will become the new norm
                                  • How COVID-19 crisis will reshape the industry
                                    • Favourable reservation policies become key in channel competition
                                      • Companies are pushed to improvise to stay afloat
                                        • Figure 19: Food order service launched by hotels, April 2020
                                        • Figure 20: Food order service launched by airlines, April 2020
                                      • Impact on the marketing mix
                                        • Respect seniors’ individuality
                                          • Make the experience more meaningful
                                            • Enhance value perception with expected highlights of the tour
                                              • Responding to digitally savvier seniors in the future
                                                • COVID-19: China context
                                                  • Figure 21: Accumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 in China, January to April 2020
                                                  • Figure 22: Status of returning to work, China, March and April 2020
                                              • Issues and Insights

                                                • Post COVID-19: rising importance of staying in touch digitally with seniors
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Time to bust the myths about senior travellers
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                            • Communication based on fun, fulfilment and good value appeals to seniors
                                                              • The facts
                                                                • The implications
                                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Growing number of senior travellers
                                                                    • More senior consumers in future population
                                                                      • Seniors have leisure time and travel budget
                                                                        • Seniors are interested in travelling as a leisure activity
                                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                          • Senior travellers are a growing consumer group
                                                                              • Figure 23: Senior travellers’ volume, in person-times (m), 2015-22(fore)
                                                                          • Market Factors

                                                                            • A growing senior population
                                                                              • Figure 24: Projection of population by age group, 2018-22 (fore)
                                                                            • High income among 50-59s with additional investment income
                                                                              • Figure 25: Monthly household income, by age, December 2019
                                                                              • Figure 26: Source of income among seniors, by monthly household income, December 2019
                                                                            • Seniors generally have the freedom to arrange travel time
                                                                              • Figure 27: Working status of seniors, December 2019
                                                                            • Travel is urban seniors’ preferred leisure activity
                                                                              • Seniors always wish to have a balanced retirement life
                                                                                • From physical wellbeing to mental wellbeing
                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • Eight out of 10 seniors have travelled over the past two years
                                                                                    • Smaller-sized tours have potential in future market
                                                                                      • Personal health and energised lifestyles motivate seniors to go travelling
                                                                                        • Tourism site quality is most considered factor for choosing travel products
                                                                                          • Seniors in higher tier cities look for balanced leisure time between personal interests and families
                                                                                          • Travel Participation

                                                                                            • Seniors are active travellers
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Participation of domestic and overseas travel, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Types of senior travellers, by travel destinations, December 2019
                                                                                            • Domestic frequent travellers
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Domestic travel – frequent travellers*, by age and gender, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Domestic travel – frequent travellers*, by household income and source of income, December 2019
                                                                                            • Consumer profile for senior outbound travellers
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Senior outbound travellers, by age and gender, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Senior outbound travellers – by household income and source of income, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Home products possession, outbound travellers vs non-takers, December 2019
                                                                                          • Travel Decision Makers

                                                                                            • 77% have a say in travel decisions
                                                                                              • Figure 35: Travel decision makers, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 36: Travel decision makers*, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Top three mentions of travel decision makers, by age, December 2019
                                                                                          • Forms of Travel

                                                                                            • Prepare for mid-scale group tours for future senior travellers
                                                                                              • Figure 38: Penetration of different forms of travel among seniors, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 39: Penetration of two types of group tours among seniors, by age, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 40: Penetration of three types of group tours among consumers aged 40-49, April 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 41: Penetration of two types of group tours among seniors, by city tier, December 2019
                                                                                            • Independent tours have potential among the over-50s, men and seniors in tier one cities
                                                                                              • Figure 42: attitudes toward taking part in independent tours, December 2016
                                                                                              • Figure 43: Penetration of independent tours among seniors, by demographic, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 44: Penetration of independent tours among seniors, by travel experiences, December 2019
                                                                                          • Travel Spending

                                                                                            • RMB3,000-6,000 is the comfortable price range
                                                                                              • Figure 45: Travel spending among seniors, December 2019
                                                                                            • Urban seniors aged 50-54 spend more
                                                                                              • Figure 46: Seniors’ average travel spending and average annual household income, by age group, December 2019
                                                                                            • Target senior high spenders with spiritual fulfilment in outbound segment
                                                                                              • Figure 47: Travel spending among seniors, by monthly household income level, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 48: Participation of domestic and outbound travel, by monthly household income, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 49: Reasons for travel, by monthly household income, December 2019
                                                                                          • Reasons for Travel

                                                                                            • Seniors want to feel energised and knowledgeable
                                                                                              • Figure 50: Reasons for travel, December 2019
                                                                                            • Mental satisfaction more important to high-income urban seniors
                                                                                              • Figure 51: Reasons for travel – mental health, by monthly household income, December 2019
                                                                                          • Interested Travel Activities

                                                                                            • Seniors interested in cultural sites and local food
                                                                                              • Figure 52: Interested travel activities among seniors, December 2019
                                                                                            • Motivate overseas non-takers with…
                                                                                              • Figure 53: Interested tourism activities - TURF analysis, December 2019
                                                                                            • Theme parks and amusement parks have opportunities to target seniors
                                                                                              • Figure 54: Interest in theme parks and amusement parks among seniors, by demographic, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 55: Reasons for travel, interested in theme parks and amusement parks vs not interested, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 56: Travel decision makers, by potential theme parks and amusement park consumers, December 2019
                                                                                          • Consideration Factors for Choosing Travel Products

                                                                                            • More sites and sites to capture with cameras are top priority
                                                                                              • Figure 57: Seniors’ consideration factors for choosing travel products, December 2019
                                                                                            • High spenders pay more attention to carefree and comfort
                                                                                              • Figure 58: Seniors’ consideration factors for choosing travel products, by travel spending level, December 2019
                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Travel and Leisure Time

                                                                                            • Younger seniors and those from tier one cities are less likely to give up personal interests for family duties
                                                                                              • Figure 59: Seniors’ attitudes towards travel and leisure time – leisure time priority, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 60: Participation in domestic and overseas travel, by seniors’ leisure time priority, December 2019
                                                                                            • Travel companions influence choice of travel products
                                                                                              • Figure 61: Preferences of travel companions, December 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 62: Penetration of group tours and independent tours among seniors, preferring travelling on one’s own or with spouses vs preferring travelling in a group (a), December 2019
                                                                                            • Purchasing takes place mainly offline, with focus on value-for-quality products
                                                                                              • Figure 63: Seniors’ attitudes towards travel and leisure time – product purchasing, December 2019
                                                                                            • Visa-friendly overseas destinations are more appealing to seniors
                                                                                              • Figure 64: Seniors’ attitudes towards travel and leisure time – attractiveness of visa-exempt destinations, December 2019
                                                                                            • Female seniors are digital-savvier
                                                                                              • Figure 65: Preferences of payment methods in overseas travel, December 2019
                                                                                          • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                                              • Abbreviations

                                                                                              About the report

                                                                                              This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                              • The Consumer

                                                                                                What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                              • The Competitors

                                                                                                Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                              • The Market

                                                                                                Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                              • The Innovations

                                                                                                New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                              • The Opportunities

                                                                                                Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                              • The Trends

                                                                                                What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                              Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

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