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Top 7 Trends in Chinese Outbound Tourism in 2024

Chinese tourism
Top 7 Trends in Chinese Outbound Tourism in 2024

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, China was the largest outbound tourist market, with 155 million overseas trips taken in 2019. Today, in 2024, the world expects Chinese tourism to return to its pre-pandemic level. 

China remains the number one country globally in terms of the number of overseas trips and money spent during these trips. However, it seems that Chinese outbound tourism is undergoing changes, in fact, the behavior of tourists during these trips has changed profoundly.4

During the pandemic, travel restrictions and health concerns have had a significant impact on the way Chinese tourists plan and conduct their trips abroad and led many to wonder “are Chinese tourists still traveling?”, InfluChina will give you some answers.

Health and safety have become top priorities for Chinese tourists, who are now paying more attention to healthcare safety measures in their destinations of choice.

Table of Contents

1. Rise of independent tourism

One trend in Chinese outbound travel is the growing interest in independent tourism. 

In the past, package tours were the most common option for Chinese tourists. However, more and more travelers are seeking greater flexibility and autonomy in their travels. Now, they want to explore destinations on a more personalized level and have the freedom to decide what to do and how to do it.

Technology has played a key role in this shift.

Chinese travelers have access to a wide range of information online, from travel guides to reviews from other travelers, allowing them to be more informed when planning their own itineraries.

In addition, the ease of online booking gives them the flexibility to choose accommodations, transportation and activities according to their preferences and budget. All this can be done from the well-known OTAs or Chinese travel agencies, the most popular are Ctrip and Fliggy, and we recommend you check them out.

Rise of independent tourism in china

2. Popularity of little known destinations

While traditional Chinese tourist destinations such as Thailand and South Korea remain popular with travelers, we have seen a growing interest in destinations in Europe and Latin America. Chinese travelers are looking for unique and authentic experiences, moving away from the more familiar places and immersing themselves in the local culture.

This shift in travel preferences presents a great opportunity to promote less conventional destinations and offer tour packages that highlight the hidden gems of each country.

Spain, with its rich history and cultural diversity, has become a very attractive destination for Chinese travelers. Cities such as Barcelona, Seville, and Madrid capture the attention of those looking to explore the architecture, art and history of these places, as well as enjoy authentic Spanish cuisine.

Popularity of little known destinations -Trends in Chinese Outbound Tourism

As for Latin America, destinations such as Mexico, Peru and Colombia have gained popularity among Chinese travelers. The rich culture, natural beauty and hospitality of these countries appeal to those seeking authentic experiences.

From exploring the ruins of ancient civilizations to immersing themselves in vibrant city life and discovering breathtaking landscapes, Chinese travelers are eager to uncover the hidden treasures of this region.

3. The growth of shopping tourism

Shopping tourism is a trend in Chinese outbound tourism. Chinese travelers are known for their passion for luxury shopping and the search for high quality products. In this sense, destinations such as London and New York have become very popular places for Chinese tourists looking for exclusive brands and unique shopping experiences.

The growth of shopping tourism-Trends in Chinese Outbound Tourism
The growth of shopping tourism-Trends in Chinese Outbound Tourism

Cosmopolitan cities offer a wide range of opportunities for shopping enthusiasts.

Both London and New York boast a large number of internationally renowned stores, local designer boutiques and luxury department stores, where Chinese tourists can find an exclusive selection of high-end products.

In addition to the diversity of brands and products available, these destinations also offer a unique shopping experience.

Luxury shopping malls in New York, such as Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s, and London’s iconic shopping streets, such as Oxford and Carnaby Street, are places where Chinese tourists can enjoy an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere while exploring the latest fashion trends and accessories.

4. Influence of social media

Social media plays a key role in the Chinese outbound tourism industry, as it has become an indispensable tool for travelers to search for information, share experiences and book trips. 

Among the most popular social media platforms for Chinese travelers are WeChat, Weibo, Douyin and Xiaohongshu, which are used by millions of people in China on a daily basis. In particular Xiaohongshu, or Little Red Book, is a great place to market your restaurant(s).

Tourism businesses and destinations should leverage these platforms to promote their services, interact with Chinese travelers and provide them with a personalized experience.

It is crucial to understand the crucial role that social media plays in Chinese outbound tourism and adapt marketing strategies accordingly to take full advantage of these platforms.

Influence of social media-Trends in Chinese Outbound Tourism

5. Growing interest in themed tourism

One trend in Chinese outbound travel is that themed tourism is becoming increasingly popular among Chinese travelers. These tourists are looking for experiences that match their particular interests and passions, which has led to the rise of different types of themed tourism. The United States offers a wide variety of options to meet these demands, standing out in several segments.

Gastronomic tourism is one of the most popular types of themed tourism in the USA. Chinese travelers are looking to explore the country’s rich and diverse gastronomy. New York, Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans are destinations known for their high-quality restaurants and vibrant culinary culture.

Chinese tourists can enjoy wine tastings, gastronomic tours and participate in cooking classes to immerse themselves in the authentic culinary experience.

Growing interest in themed tourism -Trends in Chinese Outbound Tourism

Adventure tourism has also gained popularity among Chinese travelers. Europe and the United States offer a wealth of opportunities to enjoy exciting activities such as hiking in Mont Blanc, skiing in the Alps and Colorado, surfing on the East and West coasts of the USA, and rock climbing in the mountains of Yosemite. These experiences allow Chinese tourists to experience unique emotions while exploring the natural beauty of each country they visit.

Cultural tourism is another type of thematic tourism that attracts Chinese travelers.

The UK is a destination rich in cultural heritage, with cities such as London, Edinburgh, Manchester and York hosting impressive monuments, museums and festivals. Chinese tourists can visit the Houses of Parliament in London, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and marvel at the famous York Minster.

6. Focus on sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism is trending among Chinese tourists worldwide, due to the growing concern among Chinese travelers about the environmental and social impact of their trips.

Currently, Chinese tourists are looking for options that are environmentally friendly, both in terms of transportation and accommodation.

In this regard, there has been an increase in demand for green and sustainable accommodations, such as hotels that implement energy efficiency practices, use renewable energy sources and promote waste reduction. These establishments offer Chinese tourists the opportunity to stay in places that care about minimizing their environmental impact. Learn more about how to accommodate your hotel for Chinese tourists.

Focus on sustainable tourism-Trends in Chinese Outbound Tourism

In addition, Chinese travelers are interested in participating in activities that promote the sustainable development of the destinations they visit. This can include guided tours that respect the natural and cultural environment, as well as activities that support local communities, such as visits to conservation projects or community-based tourism initiatives.

7. Use of technology in tourism

Technology plays a key role in China’s tourism industry, transforming the way travelers plan and enjoy their experiences.

Chinese travelers have widely adopted mobile applications as indispensable tools to organize and enrich their trips.

These mobile apps allow Chinese travelers to book flights, hotels and activities quickly and conveniently. With just a few taps on their phone screen, travelers can compare prices, read reviews from other users and make instant bookings

This has greatly simplified the travel planning process and given Chinese tourists greater flexibility and autonomy to customize their itineraries.

In addition, mobile payment technologies, such as WeChat Pay and Alipay, have revolutionized the way Chinese tourists undertake transactions during their travels. These mobile payment platforms are widely accepted in stores, restaurants and tourist attractions in popular Chinese tourist destinations. 

Travelers can pay securely and conveniently using their cell phones, avoiding the need to carry cash or make currency exchanges.

Use of technology in tourism-Trends in Chinese Outbound Tourism

8. Conclusion

In summary, Chinese tourism is undergoing exciting trends that present great opportunities for various tourism businesses.

From the growing interest in independent tourism to the influence of social media, each trend in Chinese outbound tourism offers an area of potential growth. By understanding these trends, tourism businesses can adapt and position themselves as leaders in the Chinese market by providing unforgettable travel experiences. 

If you are interested in taking advantage of these trends and implementing them into your marketing strategy, feel free to contact us! Our team will be happy to help you achieve success in the Chinese outbound tourism market.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Chinese outbound tourism

Independent tourism is experiencing significant growth among Chinese travelers. More and more people prefer to have flexibility and autonomy in their travels, planning and customizing their itineraries according to their preferences and budget.

Chinese travelers are showing increasing interest in destinations in Europe and Latin America. Spain stands out as an attractive destination due to its rich history and cultural diversity, especially cities such as Barcelona, Seville and Madrid. In addition, destinations in Latin America such as Mexico, Peru and Colombia are also gaining popularity due to their cultural richness, natural beauty and hospitality.

Shopping tourism is experiencing significant growth among Chinese tourists. Particularly cities such as London and New York have become very popular due to their offer of exclusive brands and unique shopping experiences.

Social media plays a key role in the Chinese outbound tourism industry. Platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, Douyin and Xiaohongshu are widely used by Chinese travelers to search for information, share experiences and make bookings. Tourism companies and destinations should take advantage of these platforms to promote their services, interact with travelers and provide them with a personalized experience.

Themed tourism is gaining more and more popularity among Chinese tourists. There are a wide variety of themed options out there, such as gastronomic tourism, adventure tourism and cultural tourism. Chinese travelers are looking for experiences that match their particular interests and passions, and there are a wealth of ideal destinations to meet those demands.

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