Female Chinese tourists are mainly motivated by
shopping and the quality of product, when visiting Hong Kong
according to the SHTMs Mimi Li and co-authors in a recently
published research paper.
Examining the travel motivations and behaviour of Chinese women, the researchers identify Hong Kongs
allure as a shopping paradise.
They also show that mainland
women visit Hong Kong to increase their knowledge of the city,
enhance their own prestige and enjoy the citys modern image.
Given that mainland Chinese women constitute an increasingly
important sector of the travel market in Hong Kong, the
researchers findings have important implications for the local
Chinas outbound tourism market will see
considerable growth over the coming years, promoted by the
countrys economic development and the liberalisation of its
tourism policy. Female travellers have been an increasingly large proportion of this market over the last 20 years and they have
become the primary target for many travel businesses.
This increase echoes the global trend, suggest the researchers, with
females representing over 50% of the worlds travel population.
Women around the world now have more time and money for
travelling, have strong purchasing power and tend to make the
decisions about whether and where to travel.
figure of the tourist the hypothetical traveller is still
portrayed in masculine terms, with a focus on adventure and the
allure of the exotic. In contrast, and despite all evidence,
femininity is marked by signs of domesticity with its lack of
individual action. Perhaps this is why there has been little
research interest shown in the travel motivations and behaviour
female tourists, even though women hold dramatically different
values than men regarding travel. To compound the problem,
the researchers, what little is known about the topic has been
derived almost exclusively from Western societies.
important to increase our understanding of this area, because the
world is looking at Chinese outbound tourism as a lucrative
market of which Chinese female tourists represent a huge
potential segment. As the researchers note, because women often
dominate spending decisions in their family, investigation of
their behaviour will certainly have implications for both academia
To investigate the behaviour and motivations
of female Chinese travellers, the researchers conducted a survey
at major tourist locations in Hong Kong. The questionnaire
measured the respondents travel motivations and covered topics
such as the length of stay, travel companions and expenses.
Of the 204 women who completed the questionnaire, the majority
(75.5%) were aged below 35 and the rest were aged 36-55. More than
half of the respondents were single, 35% were travelling with
relatives and 31.5% with friends. Around 85% had chosen to travel
independently rather than with a package tour and the primary
purpose of their visit was either sightseeing or shopping. Half of
the tourists were visiting Hong Kong as a stopover or secondary
destination. Almost all had allocated a budget of between
RMB1,001 and RMB 5,000 for shopping. Although 40% were visiting
Hong Kong for the first time, over 30% visited once a year.
The researchers analysed the respondents replies to the
questionnaire to identify the underlying push and pull motivations of their travel. They identified four separate push
factors that led to the women wanting to travel outside of mainland China: knowledge and prestige, enhancement of social
relationships, rest and relaxation and adventure and excitement. The five pull factors that attracted the women to
Hong Kong were modern image, natural environment and attractions, safety and cleanliness, ease of tour arrangement
The top two motivations for visiting Hong
Kong were shopping and the quality of goods. According to the
researchers, shopping is not only an especially significant
factor in considering womens travel needs, but it also tends to
generate repeat visits. Furthermore, Hong Kong is known as a
shopping paradise that has long been popular for its favourable
prices and the high quality of its products.
point out that Chinese women are independent and tend to control
the finances of their families and dominate most of the decisions.
They increasingly seek to spend their cash to make themselves
more feminine and to pamper and spoil themselves. Thus, Hong Kong
should do its best to provide unique and exclusive shopping
Knowledge and prestige were also found to be
strong push factors for Chinese female travellers. A trip to
Hong Kong, write the researchers, offers an opportunity for
Chinese women to see something different, increase their knowledge
of a foreign destination and experience a different lifestyle. It
is also something they can talk about with their friends and relatives. Hong Kong should thus put more effort into promoting
other types of attractions rather than focusing solely on shopping.
Enjoying the modern image of Hong Kong was also
an important motivation, and confirms Hong Kongs image as a showcase of Western culture and lifestyle. However, the
increasing competition in the region and the high number of respondents who were visiting Hong Kong as a secondary destination
suggest that to remain competitive, it should develop more
modern-themed attractions and activities.
Age and income
had little effect on how respondents rated the importance of these
different motivations. However, those with lower educational
levels were more likely to be attracted by the natural environment
and attractions of Hong Kong. Marital status had the greatest
effect on the respondents motivations. For instance, knowledge
and prestige were important motivations for married women, whereas
single women were more attracted by Hong Kongs modern image, natural environment and attractions, safety and cleanliness and
ease of tour arrangement.
Visitors who were staying for
4-6 days were more motivated by rest and relaxation and by Hong
Kongs natural environment and attractions than were visitors who
were staying for 7-10 days, for whom the citys safety and
cleanliness were the most appealing feature.
insights into the travel motivations of female Chinese tourists,
the researchers indicate how the travel industry could be
targeting this promising market more effectively.
should continue to focus on providing high quality shopping,
whilst also promoting its other attractions and developing new
ones. Marketing strategies could be targeted to appeal to the
different sections of the female Chinese tourist market, to better
serve the needs of an increasingly important segment of visitors.
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