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Themed Travelling - China - August 2019

“With consumers motivated by personal hobbies to try themed travel, customisation is part of the ‘DNA’ of this product. This means well-design themed travel can serve as an ingredient for customised travel on one hand, but it is difficult for themed travel to enjoy economy of scale on the other hand. The focus of innovation in themed travel can be expanded from new routes and destinations to sourcing hobby-based activities from people and selling these to travellers. How themed travel can help create new experiences depends on the specific themes applied to trips. Enjoying a slower-paced lifestyle rather than improving sleep quality helps promote health and wellness themed travel. Self-drive tours can harness the lifestyle characteristics of different car brands or car types to create novel lifestyle experiences for consumers to enjoy when they travel.”

– Saskia Zhao, Research Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Beyond innovation based on travel routes, themed travel can create new themes by sourcing hobby-based activities from people and selling these to travellers
  • Health and wellness themed travel: though improving sleep quality is frequently talked about, it is less attractive than the desire to enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle
  • Differentiate self-drive tour products: boost overall travel experiences by harnessing the lifestyles different car brands embody

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Willingness to spend on self-indulgence increased over the last five years
              • Figure 1: Attitudes towards spending, % any agree, 2013 and 2018
            • Consumers want to have new experiences every time they go travelling
              • Figure 2: Attitudes towards travel destinations
            • Additionally, consumers perceive unique experiences as an important premium factor for luxury leisure travel
              • Figure 3: Premium factors for leisure trips, February 2018
            • Responding to consumers’ desire for novel experiences, travel suppliers launched themed travel to the market
              • The consumer
                • Although relatively new to the market, self-drive tours have gained similar penetration as more mature self-organised tours
                  • Figure 4: Penetration of different ways to travel, April 2019
                • Key users of self-drive tours
                  • Figure 5: Self-drive tours, by city, April 2019
                • Outdoor themes and health and wellness themes have more chance to attract consumers when tagged to domestic travel
                  • Figure 6: Interested themes for domestic and outbound travel, April 2019
                • Consumers are motivated by personal hobbies to try themed travel
                  • Figure 7: Reasons for trying themed travel, April 2019
                • Consumers don’t rely solely on travel booking platforms for themed travel inspiration
                  • Figure 8: Source of inspiration, April 2019
                • Promoting health and wellness themed travel: slower-paced lifestyle is more persuasive than improving sleep quality
                  • Figure 9: Motivations for trying health and wellness themed travel, April 2019
                • Premium factors of health and wellness themed travel: nature and health service rather than yoga
                  • Figure 10: Health and wellness activities, April 2019
                • What we think
                • Issues and Insights

                  • Beyond innovation based on travel routes, themed travel can create new themes by sourcing hobby-based activities from people and selling these to travellers
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • Figure 11: Airbnb sells experiences
                      • Health and wellness themed travel: though improving sleep quality is frequently talked about, it is less attractive than the desire to enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Figure 12: Slow Travel Collection by the travel company Original Travel
                          • Differentiate self-drive tour products: boost overall travel experiences by harnessing the lifestyles different car brands embody
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                  • Figure 13: Airbnb and BMW Mini Cooper joint campaign, 2019
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • Consumers show increased willingness to spend on self-indulgence
                                  • Overall the majority of consumers want new experiences when it comes to travelling
                                    • In addition, consumers think unique travel experiences are a premium factor for luxury leisure travel
                                      • Themed travel introduced to the market to bring new travel experiences to consumers
                                      • Market Background

                                        • Consumers show increased willingness to spend money on holidays
                                          • Figure 14: Attitudes towards spending, % any agree, 2013 and 2018
                                        • Consumers want to experience something new when travelling
                                          • Figure 15: Attitude towards travel destinations, May 2017
                                          • Figure 16: Attitudes towards outbound travel destinations, November 2018
                                        • And they also perceive unique experiences as a key premium factor for luxury leisure travel
                                          • Figure 17: Premium factors for leisure trips, February 2018
                                        • Increasing importance of travel experiences give birth to themed travel
                                          • Figure 18: Recreational vehicle tour products by Spring Tour, 2019
                                          • Figure 19: Light Outdoor themed travel and honeymoon themed travel by Tuniu
                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                        • Self-drive tours though relatively new have reached almost the same penetration as mature self-organised tours
                                          • Consumers are most interested in unique natural scenery themes for both domestic and outbound travel
                                            • Outdoor activities/sports themes and health and wellness themes have more opportunities in domestic travel
                                              • Consumers are motivated by personal hobbies and in-depth experiences to try themed travel
                                                • Travel booking platforms are not enough to promote themed travel
                                                  • Enjoying a slower-paced lifestyle rather than improving sleep quality was the top motivation for trying health and wellness themes
                                                    • In health and wellness travel natural resources and health services can be leveraged to charge premium prices
                                                    • Penetration of Different Ways to Travel

                                                      • Self-drive tours reach almost the same penetration as self-organised tours
                                                        • Figure 20: Penetration of different ways to travel, April 2019
                                                      • User profiles for self-drive tours
                                                        • Figure 21: Penetration of different ways to travel, by age of children under 18 years old, April 2019
                                                        • Figure 22: Self-drive tours, by city, April 2019
                                                      • Travelling in recreational vehicles tried by post-90s
                                                      • Interested Themes

                                                          • Unique natural scenery is most attractive for both domestic and outbound travel
                                                            • Figure 23: The top three most selected themes for domestic and outbound themed travel, April 2019
                                                          • Consumers are more likely to try outdoor themes and health and wellness themes for domestic travel than outbound
                                                            • Figure 24: Interested themes for domestic and outbound travel, April 2019
                                                          • Female post-80s interested in trying health and wellness themes on domestic trips
                                                            • Figure 25: Interested themes – domestic health and wellness themed trips*, by demographic, April 2019
                                                          • Domestic outdoor themes appeal to males in their 30s and females in their 20s
                                                            • Figure 26: Interested themes – domestic outdoor themed travel, by age and gender, April 2019
                                                            • Figure 27: Interested themes – domestic outdoor themed travel, by city, April 2019
                                                        • Reasons for Trying Themed Travel

                                                          • Going for themed travel: hobbies matter
                                                            • Figure 28: Reasons for trying themed travel, April 2019
                                                            • Figure 29: Lvmama and China Joy expo, 2019
                                                        • Source of inspiration

                                                          • Relying solely on travel booking platforms not enough to promote themed travel
                                                            • Figure 30: Source of inspiration, April 2019
                                                          • Communicating with post-90s, the more channels the better?
                                                            • Post-90s check information on social media, but also from their personal networks
                                                              • Figure 31: The top three sources of inspiration, by generation, April 2019
                                                          • Motivations for Trying Health and Wellness Themed Travel

                                                              • Slowing down is the key driver for trying health and wellness themed trips
                                                                • Figure 32: Motivations for trying health and wellness themed travel, April 2019
                                                              • Consumers positively associate health and wellness with nice environment probably driven by concern over pollution
                                                              • Health and Wellness Activities Consumers are willing to Pay More for

                                                                • As premium factors, activities leveraging natural resource and health services outweigh food and exercises
                                                                    • Figure 33: Health and wellness activities, April 2019
                                                                  • Facial treatment: opportunity to charge premium prices among younger male consumers
                                                                      • Figure 34: Health and wellness activities – facial treatment, by age, male, April 2019
                                                                    • Health checks are a potential premium service to attract post-90 generation
                                                                      • Figure 35: Health and wellness activities, post-90s, April 2019
                                                                  • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                    • MinTs have gone on more types of travel
                                                                      • Figure 36: Penetration of different ways to travel among Mintropolitans, April 2019
                                                                    • More chance to win MinTs with outdoors and health and wellness in domestic travel
                                                                      • Figure 37: Mintropolitans’ interested themes for domestic and outbound travel, April 2019
                                                                    • MinTs are mainly driven by a desire to slow down to try health and wellness themes
                                                                      • Figure 38: Mintropolitan’s motivations for trying health and wellness themed travel, April 2019
                                                                    • Yoga isn’t it: MinTs are more likely to pay a premium price for natural resources and health service
                                                                      • Figure 39: Mintropolitan’s preferences on health and wellness activities, April 2019
                                                                  • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                      • Abbreviations

                                                                      Themed Travelling - China - August 2019

                                                                      £3,486.28 (Excl.Tax)