LOS ANGELES – SublimeChina.com, a Los Angeles-based travel agency that specializes in custom and pre-packaged China tours, recently launched a survey asking American retirees which city in China they would love to visit. It turned out to be a close call, but Hong Kong came out on top with 26.1% of the votes, with Beijing following closely behind with 25% of the votes.
“It seems like people are torn between modernism and culture,” said Monica Guan, marketing expert for Sublime China. “Beijing is the cultural capital of China and is home to some major museums and historical landmarks, while Hong Kong offers more of a modern New York-ish type of experience with a Chinese flavour,” she added.
While H.K. won the general vote, it is important to note that certain segments of the population have chosen Beijing as their favorite, such as women, high income earners ($150k+), the Midwest and Southern regions of the U.S. and those residing in rural areas.
The survey shows that men and women have different tastes and priorities when it comes to traveling in China. Tibet, for instance, didn’t score high among the male voters (18.9%), but came up 2nd among the female audience with 24% of the votes. Another city that shows a big disparity between males and females is Chengdu (the Panda capital) that scored 8.9% of female votes and only 5.1% of male votes. One can only conclude that the cuteness of pandas doesn’t affect men as much as it affects women.
Monica admitted that Shanghai’s score was another big surprise. “You would think that someone who wants a more modern experience in China would put Shanghai high on their bucket list, but Hong Kong seems to have taken that cake,” she said. “Perhaps the fact that English is the main language in Hong Kong versus Mandarin Chinese in Shanghai is what made the difference in this case,” emphasized Monica. Younger people tend to be more adventurous and don’t mind being in a place where they don’t speak the language, but a lot of older people would rather avoid that communication barrier.
While pandas are certainly a big hit amongst the younger generation, older people didn’t seem to show much love for Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, known as the home of giant pandas. The city scored only 7.1% of votes in the survey.
Full results of the survey:
– Hong Kong (26.1%)
– Beijing (25%)
– Tibet (21.6%)
– Shanghai (9.3%)
– Xi’An (7.6%)
– Chengdu (7.1%)
– Hangzhou (3.4%)
Other key insights from the survey:
– Overall males prefer Hong Kong while females prefer Beijing
– Respondents living in urban and suburban areas prefer Hong Kong, While respondents living in rural areas prefer Beijing
– Respondents earning over 150k prefer Beijing