As the number of Chinese outbound traveler’s continue to rise, their travel preference and behavior are undergoing significant changes. They are not the typical shopping tourist. They prefer experience-based travel. Instead of looking for group travels, they are being independent and looking for local experience.

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The number of Chinese citizens traveling abroad in 2018 was 149.72 million, an increase of 14.7% over 2017 data. Nearly half of the travelers were from large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, while the other half hailed from smaller cities.

For these increasingly independent travelers, it was important to have an authentic experience in these new countries. So while big shopping malls still hold appeal, many Chinese travel programs are no longer complete without activities such as music festivals, international film festivals, Contemporary art museums visits.

 

Travel Habits are evolving

The idea of outbound tourism for Chinese associated closely with shopping is absolutely out of date. For the first time, shopping is no longer the main reason for Chinese to abroad. These travelers don’t want to be just shoppers but also enjoy the experience.

The 2017 annual survey of Chinese tourists by consultancy Oliver Wyman found that while the average amount spent on an overseas trip rose slightly last year to Rmb20,000 ($3,000). Shopping expenditure per trip fell to roughly Rmb6,700, from Rmb8,050 in 2015. It proved that Chinese tourists found the experience in tourism sites overweighed shopping.

In addition, the findings are echoed in a forthcoming FT Confidential Research survey that found that spending on shopping as a percentage of average trip expenditure fell to 37 percent this year from 47 percent in 2013. The amount spent on accommodation, food, and entertainment rose from 31 percent to 44 percent.

Therefore it also alerts global tourism businesses and brings them unimaginably potential profits that nowadays Chinese tourists not only are interested in shopping but also put emphasis on personal experience.

 

 

Young people do not reply on tour group anymore

 

Currently, we can see how Chinese even if they  still relying on groups to organize their travels,  new generations are chosing to plan on their own, looking forward to being independents travelers.  They are always trying not to be restricted by the tours and looking for unique experiences

Chinese millennials in big cities are the one’s taking over these solo travel decisions. They are not looking for a boring group experience.

There is another crucial fact, the young generation has received more English education and they can go abroad on their own. In the end, there is no need for tour groups anymore.

 

Searching for local experiences

According to the Financial Times, the allocation of Chinese consumers’ travel budgets to accommodation, food, and entertainment has climbed 50 percent over the past three years.

As a matter of fact, when young tourists are seeking a better quality of life, they desire local experiences over traditional tourism schedules. During the 2018/2019 period, according to the China Tourism Academy, one of every five visitors to Antarctica were from China. This demonstrates the desire for unique experiences that these travelers are looking for.  Dining and uniquely local things-to-do are among the most popular experiences sought out by Chinese travelers.

 

 Chinese young tourists addicted to new destinations

Even though many Chinese tourists still want to re-visit the countries they have visited before, they are prioritizing new destinations. For instance, more than one third (37%) still intend to visit countries they have been to before, such as Japan (46% want to revisit), South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. However, they want to have a new experience in these countries and discover something new.

The desires of these travelers for tour in Europe, North America, and Latin America have been growing exponentially for years now. In a study held in 2018, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East are the top destinations for more than half of the travelers surveyed.

North America will continue to be a hot favorite, and Latin America is also emerging as a popular choice with 26% and 13% travelers planning a first-time visit to these destinations in the next year respectively. Over a third of travelers plan to visit Oceania next year, with Australia topping the list for future visits.

Some millennials want to push the boundaries in trying activities that provide an adrenalin rush or even an element of danger such as whitewater rafting, an escape room, paintball, and sliding down a live volcano in Nicaragua.

 

Indicators for the 2020 Tourism Season: There is Hope

Today, outbound tourism is a major indicator of the improvement of Chinese people’s living standards and happiness index. “Report” shows that in 2019 Chinese outbound tourism consumption is still the world’s first. According to data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, in the first half of 2019, China’s outbound travel expenditures were US$127.5 billion, and over 50% of travel expenditures occurred in Asia.

In terms of booking channels, Chinese tourists go all over the world with a mobile phone, and OTAs such as Ctrip (online travel agencies) have become mainstream booking and service platforms for outbound travel. In 2018, Ctrip served over 50 million outbound tourists through various outbound travel products and services. In 2019, Chinese tourists choose outbound holiday products to reach 158 countries around the world, an increase of 17% over last year, and the number of outbound passengers and consumption also reached a new high.

 

How to attract Chinese Millenials?

 

In spite of the young generation of millennials in any country, digitalization cannot be neglected by any tourism business. Thus the priority always is to market your tourism business in digitalization.

Here are some tips for tourism businesses tending to attract more Chinese people, especially young Chinese tourists.

 

Gain More Visibility with Chinese Social Media

Social media fuels many of these newfound desires. Over 40 percent of millennial respondents said they share their cultural experiences through selfies that express their individuality to friends and family by the uniqueness of their holiday and no longer solely by what they wear or own.

With more than 1 billion monthly users in 2020, Wechat has become a powerful tool for businesses around the world. It is widely used especially among Chinese youth, who are most likely to travel.

As a second popular platform in China, we also note Weibo. It is also very powerful for sharing images and content with a wider audience. Although it cannot match the Wechat user base, it still registered nearly 516 million monthly users un 2020.  Chinese tourists often look for information on these social media platforms before making decisions about travel.

 

How do we help you to stay connected to China?

  • We register and manage your company in different platforms.
    • We design tourism website tailored for the Chinese market, and provide hosting in China & Hong Kong. We optimize it for SEO and translate your content in Mandarin Chinese.
  • Content Creation, plus we spread the word through our KOL’s, Influencers.
    • We will improve your visibility on Chinese online media. We start with the creation of press releases, story telling and diffusing of content to suitable magazines or newspapers.
  • Constant monitoring of your brand in the different social media
    • Social media is very popular in the travel industry in China. Chinese tourists generally share information and experiences on social media, weibo, wechat, as well as in forums. We help you to communicate in the right way on these platforms. WeChat has today become one of the most important Marketing tool in Tourism.

Adding local elements for more business

For hotel business, localization and authenticity are becoming more important factors than in the past. Half of the respondents said that they stayed at “independent hotels with local flavor,” while 33 percent tried boutique hotels, and just under half had stayed at international chain hotels. Overall, it seems as if travelers are increasingly looking for access to cultural heritage sites, authentic artisans, and historical landmarks during their international stays.

 

E-reputation will help your business in a great extension

The reason tourism businesses cannot attract Chinese people probably is exposed too little in the Chinese Internet, and thus the E-reputation online in China is the key to your business.

How do we help you to increase your presence online?

  • Press relation: Let the tourism expert talk about you. It is organic and last in time.
  • Kols: Use Kols to promote your hotel and services. Kols will give you visibility and credibility.
  • Forums and q&a: Go undercover and promote your services/destinations as users. It is a great way to build an organic awareness and spread the word inside the travelers community.
  • OTA: Online travel agencies such as Ctrip and Qunar are the perfect place to advertise your Hotel, destination, restaurant, etc. We can get you in.

 

 

Case Study

Since Chinese people are fond of niche tour sites, some niche European areas or countries would be the perfect option for them. Owing to this, GMA is glad to help to develop the Chinese market for them.

GMA help Croatia Boat Travel for the promotion in China. Croatia boat Travel is a European cruises tour company. They have a complete business system in Europe. When they want to promote their service in China, they contacted GMA to charge their marketing project.

We have three best solutions for it. First, we developed and optimized its website for attracting more and more Chinese people, especially young tourists, because they are more willing to search for tour information online or through social media. Second, we made an SEO campaign on Baidu since Baidu is the number one SEO in China instead of Google. Third, we help it promote branding via social media, PR, or forums. In the end, we brought it 50 quality visitors per day.

Gentlemen Marketing Agency is specialized in digital marketing in the Chinese market. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss any projects in China.

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