Over half a million Chinese tourists visited Spain in 2017, 37% more than the previous year. Traditionally, the places most visited places in Spain for this market were Madrid and Catalonia, followed by Andalusia. This year, however, Andalusia is ranking second in overnight stays, meaning the Chinese client chooses to stay longer in Andalusia.
Overall, the purpose of their trips is leisure, with only a 10% allocated to business trips, a trend that will likely change, taking into account that there are 9 direct flights between China and Spain. The Chinese market is still on its early days in Spain, due mainly to the idiomatic and cultural barrier and the fact that only 10% of the population owns a passport. The increase of the purchasing power of the middle-upper class is a key element for the years to come – the Chinese market is a very appealing one, due to their average expenditure while on holidays and the nature of their trips, mainly focused on culture and gastronomy.
But, are we ready to welcome Chinese clients? Some hotels have already received a QSC (China Outbound Tourism Quality Service Certification Program), a quality standard certification meaning they are suitable and approved to receive and please Chinese clients. Some key points to bear in mind are: slippers in every room, a kettle with a wide variety of teas, Chinese products for breakfast, access to Chinese channels on TV, and most important, a Mandarin speaker at the hotel to ensure their stay goes as smoothly as possible, since not all Chinese tourists speak a foreign language.