CHINA. A new study from travel retail research specialist m1nd-set underlines the key role that technology and social and digital media play in Chinese travellers’ journeys, and in determining their shopping purchases. Parts of the survey have been shared exclusively with The Moodie Report.

Some 81% of travellers inform themselves about their journeys using a mix of online (mainly web searches) and offline (word of mouth) channels. Very few (8%) do not use online at all for their travel information, reinforcing the importance of communicating through this channel, noted m1nd-set.

Nine out of ten Chinese travellers use smart phones when travelling internationally, according to the survey, with the figure marginally higher among business travellers. Even for those on private or leisure trips, over half also used their laptops on their journeys overseas, with around 40% of all travellers using a tablet device.

New media is also a key influencer of awareness of the duty free shopping offer. The most important source of information for travellers about duty free shopping abroad was website searches (of airports, retailers or brands). This was followed by in-store influences such as merchandising or tastings.

Notably too, around one-quarter said they tracked information via social media, a higher proportion than sought or found information through traditional media sources.

M1nd-set interviewed 2,004 Chinese travellers this month at airports around the world.