Are the independent trips the new trend of Chinese tourists?

The habits of Chinese travelers are changing, now, the popular new trend is focused on personalized adventures.

Chinese tourists are looking for customized and interesting travels.

Tourism market in China has expanded over the last few years due to the emergence of a newly rich middle class. The new trend emerging of the Chinese to travel abroad will have as result a growth up to 200 million Chinese travelers in 2020.

Chinese tourists could be categorized into two trips. The first group include those young travelers with high incomes who want independent trips and the second type are tourist from second and third tier cities that still traveling with group tours but mostly inside China.


During many years, the Chinese tourism overseas was characterized for hundreds of Chinese leaded by a tourist guide and accompanied by many big buses. However this kind of tourism is almost finished. As mentioned by a new report from Hotels.com’s Chinese International Travel Monitor, around 70 percent of Chinese travelers choose a independently trip when they decide travel overseas.

This new trend of independent travel is boosted by young travelers. The fact is about 90 percent of Chinese tourists are under 45 years old, as reported by China Tourism Academy. And due to this wave of young and intrepid travelers, the groups of Chinese travelers guided with flags decreases quickly.


An important cultural change is happening in China and Media is supporting that shift, as reported by Mei Zhang, the founder of Beshan, one of the most popular travel agencies in China which offer luxury, customized and private tours abroad. For instance, a blogger called Gu Yue is awaking interest for the life out on the open road due its romantic travels from Beijing to Berlin in order to see his girlfriend.

At first, Chinese tourists decided to travel with group tours because they believed that this kind of organized tourism would provide them security in unknown countries, in particular in those countries where Mandarin is not the official language. However this is no longer a distinctive trait of Chinese travelers. This new generation doesn’t care about the foreign language or the security and most of them are prepared to face new challenges.


Many Chinese tourists desire to explore new interesting destinations because most of them already visited the domestic travel options. The big issue for those intrepid tourists is that most travel agencies only are able to offer standard tours in common places instead of offering attractive and new destinations. Only a few number of operators offer customized trips to attend these demanding travelers, as reported by Professor Wolfgang Georg Arlt, Director of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute.

The increase in online resources is another factor that has strengthened the independent travels. The existence of travel websites as Elong, Ctrip and Kuxun has made it easier to find and book flights and hotels. Also, sites such as Mafengwo and Qyer provide free travel guides and forums that could help Mandarin-speakers to organize their own adventure.


In addition, sites as Zanadu provide access to a type of luxury accommodation similar to those rooms which appear in films and billboards. The founder of Zanazu, Zan Wu said that their regular customers are not super rich but they are glad to spend $250 per night on a hotel. They like to show their economic powerful and enjoy their high position.

Due to the desire of high-end accommodation, hotels are conscious that Chinese tourists are the biggest spenders in the world and that’s why hotels are trying to attract them through the adaptation of their services. For instance, hotels are starting to offer Chinese breakfast and translate their websites to Mandarin language.


Maybe, the main reason of the increasing number of Chinese tourists abroad is the facility to obtain travel visas due to the currently flexibility of government’ restrictions.

Chinese tourists are viewed as a potential economic source and that’s the reason why Western countries such as United Kingdom and United States have announced a relaxation of the visa rules.

As we can see, Chinese tourist behavior are changing, they are bored of group tours and not exciting destinations. The new trend is organize the travel by themselves and choose adventure destinations. The economy powerful of those tourists means an opportunity to companies in order to increase their benefits.

If you want to attract Chinese tourist, don’t hesitate to contact us, we will design a marketing strategy to you in order to attract them to your business.


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