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The Resurgence of Outbound Tourism in China: Embracing the Summer Heat

The global travel industry has witnessed significant shifts in recent years, especially in the wake of the pandemic. As the world gradually opens up, China's outbound tourism is experiencing a remarkable resurgence, especially during the summer months. This article delves into the latest trends, popular destinations, and the evolving preferences of Chinese tourists.


The Revival of Outbound Tourism: Since the beginning of the year, there has been a steady recovery in outbound tourism from China. The summer months, in particular, have seen an acceleration in this trend. Data from Mafengwo indicates that the search volume related to "summer overseas travel" has surged by 165% in July compared to June. The primary driving force behind this surge includes young travellers embarking on graduation trips and families seeking summer vacations.


Our own China Travel Dashboard also say a huge increase in tourism. Here is a graph of outbound Chinese travellers from Jan to Jun worldwide.


Short-haul Trips Gain Popularity: Factors such as visa appointment processing and the resumption of flights have influenced travel choices this summer. Short-haul trips have overtaken long-haul journeys in popularity. Top destinations include Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.


Diverse Travel Offerings: Travel agencies are offering a plethora of options to cater to the diverse needs of tourists. From group tours and independent travel to specific services like car rentals and tour guides, there's something for everyone. Theme-based travel experiences, such as visits to amusement parks, museums, and family-oriented activities, are seeing a surge in inquiries and bookings.


A Shift Towards Southeast Asian Destinations: Southeast Asian countries are witnessing a higher recovery rate in terms of tourism services. Direct flights to popular destinations like Bali, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Sabah are on the rise. These destinations, known for their convenient visa procedures, are becoming increasingly favoured by Chinese tourists. Travel agencies are also offering small group tours, ensuring a more comfortable and personalized travel experience.


Long-haul Journeys Remain Steady: Despite the surge in short-haul trips, long-haul journeys to Europe and America are maintaining a steady recovery. Traditional European destinations like France, Switzerland, and Italy remain popular. Additionally, Spain, Portugal, and the Nordic countries are emerging as new favourites for summer travellers.


Emphasis on Deep Travel Experiences: Travellers are increasingly seeking deeper, more immersive experiences. They are looking for high-quality tours that prioritize safety, privacy, and unique experiences. Small group tours, devoid of compulsory shopping stops and hidden costs, are gaining traction. These tours often include visits to popular landmarks, museums, amusement parks, and other attractions that cater to both adults and children.


Exploring New Destinations: Emerging destinations like Iran, the Caucasus region, Central Asia, the Balkans, and New Zealand are becoming the dark horses of this summer's outbound tourism market. These destinations, known for their convenient visa procedures and affordable travel packages, are catching the attention of Chinese tourists.


The Road Ahead for International Destinations

For international destinations and businesses, understanding the evolving Chinese tourist landscape is crucial. There's a need to:

  • Craft local, authentic experiences that resonate with the Chinese audience.

  • Leverage digital platforms and influencers for effective marketing.

  • Collaborate with the right channel partners to navigate the complex travel distribution ecosystem in China.

  • Offer seamless, digitally-enhanced services to cater to the tech-savvy Chinese traveller.


In conclusion, as the world continues to open up, the preferences and patterns of Chinese tourists will play a significant role in shaping the global travel industry. As China's outbound tourism landscape evolves, it presents a myriad of opportunities for international destinations and businesses. By understanding these trends and adapting accordingly, the global tourism industry can effectively tap into the vast potential of the Chinese travel market. Contact us to find out more about summer travel and how to tap into the Chinese traveller market.


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