Capricorns are cheap and Virgos prefer the south
The latest thing we learned about China’s travel industry is that Western astrology is playing a big part in tourism.
Last week, Chinese online travel dealer Taobao Travel released a “2011 annual online travel consumer report,” which devotes a whole section to where Chinese Virgos, Geminis, Libras and so forth are venturing abroad and why.
Travel behavior by star signs
According to the five-page report, one in 10 Taobao Travel users were Libras, putting them at the head of the pack, followed by Scorpios and Virgos.
Here’s how some of the other signs shaped up:
Taurus: Stay-at-homes. They make up just 7.1 percent of the Taobao database.
Sagittarius: Splurgers. They took pole postion in luxury accommodation, each spending more than RMB 3,000 on hotels in 2011;
Capricorns: Penny-pinchers. They are most thrifty, with an average lodging bill that did not exceed RMB 2,000.
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Constellations apparently also determine destinations. Libras and Virgos prefer to hit South China, Scorpios the east coast while the Sagittarius crew tends to tour north of the Yangtze River.
Taobao’s first travel annual report
This is Taobao Travel’s first-ever annual report. The results were summarized from the website’s travel transactions throughout 2011 and reflect the consumer behaviors of more than 370 million users.
“What we did was an objective census of the consumers’ behaviors based on the star signs of all Taobao Travel users,” explained Chui Xue (吹雪), supervisor of Taobao Travel.
“Analyzed from a horoscope perspective, the results are more appealing to the consumers. And the media are more likely to pick it up,” noted Chui.
In the past 20 years, western horoscopes have grown into a major pop culture among China's younger generations. Most consumers under 35 are more likely to link themselves with constellation rather than Chinese zodiac sign.
Other China travel trends
Founded in May 2010, Taobao Travel is part of Taobao.com, China’s largest online-shopping platform.
The online travel platform boasts RMB 10.9 billion turnover in 2011 and hosts more than 25,000 business partners, 700 IATA-certified flight ticket sellers, 40,000 hotels rooms and two million travel deals.
In addition to horoscope, the report also studies China's travel trends by age and destination, as well as the fluctuation of airline and hotel prices.
Other note-worthy trends include:
- China’s “post-70” and “post-80” generations (people born after 1970 and 1980) form the backbone of online travel consumptions, with more female users than male.
- Solo travel is increasing in China. Most of Chinese solo travelers are students and white-collar workers, who wish to escape from stressful daily routine and enjoy some freedom. Most of them choose to travel to more developed Chinese areas, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and Hong Kong.
Read Taobao Travel’s whole report here (in simplified Chinese).
China is witnessing a rapid boom in online travel. Tencent reported China’s online travel market volume reached RMB 167.29 billion in 2011, a 61.3 percent increase on the previous year.