Inside China’s International Tourism Boom

on September 15 2014 | in Travel Trends | by | with No Comments

Air China, Chinese tourists, Chinese tourism

International tourism among Chinese travelers has grown considerably in the past year.

The World Tourism Cities Foundation (WTCF) has released a new report “to give its member cities and organizations a better understanding of China’s outbound tourism market,” according to China Daily. The survey offers some significant insights into the changing behavior of the country’s travelers.

Chinese tourists spent $128.7 billion overseas last year, a 26.8 percent increase from the year before. Outbound tourists also spent a whopping 57.76 percent of their money shopping, 17.82 percent on lodging, and 10.88 percent on transportation.

The number of Chinese tourists abroad is also on the rise. There were 98.19 million Chinese tourists abroad in 2013, an 18 percent year-on-year increase. Tourists’ incomes tended to be high — about 11,512 yuan ($1,872) on average, nearly three times the average income of the citizens of China’s major cities.

The report also reveals that tourism is becoming markedly more family oriented. Of the outbound tourists surveyed, 56.21 percent were born after 1980s, and 59.25 were married and had young children. China’s one-child policy and “being brought up in a nuclear family” means that post-’80s Chinese families tend to focus more on children, and often travel with the intent of enriching their lives with new experiences. The report recommended that WTCF’s member cities create “family tour routes and family-related products” to accommodate the younger travelers.

Travelers are also eager to learn about the places that they visit. Self-guided tours are becoming more and more popular, and 67.98 percent of tourists surveyed “thought tours based on local culture were most appealing.”

Although the United States and Europe are popular vacation destinations for Chinese outbound tourists, the survey found that the four most visited places were the South Korean cities of Seoul, Busan, and Kwangju and the Japanese city of Sapporo.

The Internet is also of paramount importance to Chinese tourists looking to travel abroad. Travel services now tend to be digitized. Last year, online tourism services generated 2,850 billion yuan in revenue. The WTCF survey did note that online resources on travel destinations could be more accessible to Chinese travelers, with 79.31 tourists saying that they wanted official Chinese websites for regions or cities and 53.66 percent saying official Chinese WeChat or Microblog accounts would also be useful for travelers.

chinese tourists, outbound tourism

chinese tourists, outbound tourism

chinese tourists, outbound tourism

image credit: angelo desantis, china daily

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