East seen from the west

Chinese tourism is changing: here is what you need to know

Regarding the destinations, domestic tourists choose big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but also the heaven of Hainan Island and nature in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Domestic tourism is being promoted recently, but going abroad is still a growing trend, with 45% of Chinese outbound travellers going abroad more than once a year. Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar experience the biggest growth, while the affluent middle class love to visit Europe’s capitals, in a whirlwind tour as well as the continent’s luxury malls, cheaper than in China. Among their destinations, along with Paris, London, Venice and Milan, there are the less predictable Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia as well; the opportunities of Italy-China Tourism Year were frozen by the epidemic but may flourish next year.

Chinese millennials, as many are only children, are often richer than the Western counterparts so that they have more opportunities to travel. While group travel is still dominant, for its convenience and cost, a growing trend is that of independent multi-generation family groups seeking unconventional activities. More often, Chinese tourists don’t seek only shopping but look for cultural attractions more often. Anyway, checking into must-visit tourism sites to post it on social media is still a trend for domestic destinations for the younger generations.

Chinese tourists are among the most highly digitalized, not only for what concerns payment but also booking and especially in the mobile version, for 74% of Chinese travellers prefer mobile for all trip planning and booking and OTA app is by far the favourite.
For what concerns travel marketing, short videos are a resource even for B2B as Chinese travel agents share with their clients. There’s also a crossover between short video and KOL marketing, as KOLs now more often create video content in addition to photos and writing. That’s useful information for companies working in the tourism industry: it’s worth prepare one’s marketing strategy for when tourism will resume completely!