Asian travel has increased over the last two decades. Chinese travellers have predominantly been group travellers. On a strict timeline visiting specific destinations, eating only at Chinese restaurants and staying in budget hotels. Attracting these groups have been a straightforward affair. But things are starting to change with the rise of the younger, affluent and wealthier independent Chinese traveller. According to UNWTO, Chinese travel spend increased by 8% from 2018. In 2012, China became the world’s top spender in international tourism and has remained so ever since. Tourism expenditure from China went from USD 24 billion in 2006 (3% of the world’s total) to USD 261 billion in 2016 (21% of the world’s international tourism spending). Here’s 10 characteristics of independent Chinese tourists.
- They are Younger – 60% are in the consumer “sweet spot” between 25 and 45.
- They are Richer – Disposable
- More educated – The vast majority at least have bachelors degrees.
- More sophisticated travelers – Fully independent tourists usually aren’t on their first trip abroad. Many study or have studied in other countries. Even when they aren’t fluent in foreign languages, they aren’t afraid to deal with locals on their own. Younger Chinese are more worldly than their parents, but still proudly Chinese.
- More connected – The internet is the main source of information for independent tourists. They see internet and social networking access as a major necessity. They often consult friends for travel advice and use first-hand travelogues in blogs when planning a trip.
- Demanding – This whole generation of only children that grew up in relative abundance is accustomed to high quality and attentive service.
- Enjoys indulging – Independent Chinese travellers aren’t all budget tourists. Consumers under 45 years old make up most of the luxury market, and they mostly shop abroad.
- Eager for unique travel experiences – They aren’t as interested in hitting the must-see landmarks. To stand out in their social circles, they seek out uncommon destinations and niche tours based on classy hobbies like wine appreciation to express their individuality.
- Plan extensively – Independent travellers plan out itineraries for up to several months and rarely veer from their plans.
- Stay in one destination for longer periods – They stay longer than group tourists and try to learn more about the local culture.
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