China's outbound tourism market has been growing rapidly in recent years, with over 155 million Chinese travelling overseas in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has not dampened the Chinese desire to travel internationally, and this trend is projected to continue, with outbound travellers expected to reach 200 million by 2028. In light of this, the China Trading Desk has recently released a survey of Chinese travellers' sentiment to provide valuable insights into the current state of China's outbound tourism.
The survey reveals that Chinese travellers are a diverse group, with a gender split of 50/50 and 60% of travellers aged 25-34 years old. A significant portion of the surveyed travellers (50%) come from 1st tier and new 1st tier cities, while 75% have a bachelor's degree. The majority of Chinese travellers surveyed (50%) earn over 360,000 yuan annually, indicating a strong purchasing power for travel.
The survey also highlights that while 40% of Chinese travellers surveyed have not travelled overseas, at least 1 trip is planned outside of Hong Kong/Macau in the next 12 months. Additionally, 53% of travellers plan to travel abroad within the next 3 months, and 75% plan to travel 1-2 times in the upcoming year.
When it comes to planning, 44% of surveyed travellers prefer to book within 7 days of travel, while older travellers tend to book 2-4 weeks in advance. Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia are the top countries on Chinese travellers' bucket lists, and 59% prefer to stay between 5-10 days, while 32% prefer to stay for 10-15 days. Singapore Airlines is the most preferred airline among surveyed Chinese travellers, followed by United Airlines and Qatar Airways.
Interestingly, the survey found that over 54% of Chinese travellers prefer economy class when flying, while older travellers prefer business class. 73% of surveyed travellers plan to spend at least 25,000 RMB on their trips, and the top activities during travel include trying local food, visiting local attractions, and shopping. Credit cards, Alipay, cash, debit cards, and WeChat Pay are the top payment methods for Chinese travellers, while travel apps, Douyin, and Xiaohongshu are the preferred planning strategies.
The survey also provides insights into Chinese travellers' concerns and motivations when it comes to travelling. The top concerns include safety, language barriers, and the cost of travel. Meanwhile, the top motivations for travelling include relaxation, sightseeing, and experiencing local culture.
Overall, the survey reveals that Chinese travellers are a diverse group with strong purchasing power and a desire to travel internationally despite the pandemic. To cater to the unique needs and preferences of Chinese travellers, stakeholders in the tourism industry should take note of the preferred destinations, travel activities, payment methods, and planning strategies identified in the survey. With these insights, the tourism industry can make informed decisions about marketing, product development, and travel policies that can attract Chinese travellers and contribute to the growth of China's outbound tourism market.
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