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Chinese Travel Market


Cited from https://marketscans.nbtc.nl/


Chinese people undertook almost 150 million outbound trips in 2018. The country is the world's largest outbound travel market. It is also the biggest tourism spender. Although most Chinese travellers prefer to travel in groups, an increasing number of Chinese travel individually. The most popular destinations for Chinese travellers are Thailand, Japan and Vietnam.

* Forecast

Source: Ctrip (2018); China Travel News (2018); Travel China Guide (2019)

Since 2012, China is the worlds largest outbound travel market.

The number of outbound tourists continued to grow in 2018. Compared to 2017, the number of outbound tourists from China increased with circa 16% in 2018.

While China is the worlds largest outbound travel market, the number of domestic tourists is much higher: in 2018, 5.54 billion Chinese travelled domestically. An increase of 11%.

The majority of outbound tourists are women. It is expected that 59% of outbound tourists will be female travellers in 2019.

Chinese people do not mainly travel for sightseeing purposes anymore, but increasingly to enjoy high-quality services. It has become a measure of happiness for Chinese youngsters and urban residents.

It is expected that the number of Chinese outbound travellers will be 166 million in 2019.

Chinese travel peak seasons

The Golden Weeks: around Spring Festival many families come together for a reunion, friends and couples more often travel during the first week in October.

Summer holiday: the holiday period around the school holidays, a preferred travel period for families with children.

The so called Silver hair generationtravels all year round, but mainly in spring, summer and autumn to Europe, and during winter time, major tourist will visit tropical areas.

Types of trips  Source: Ctrip (2018)

Chinese tourists still prefer to travel in groups (44%). This especially counts for Chinese tourists from second, third and fourth-tier cities and regions. 42% of outbound travellers from China prefer to travel individually.

Total spending

Countries with the highest tourism spending

Top 5 countries with the highest tourism spending (US$ billion)

1 China 277,3

2 USA  144,2

3 Germany 94,2

4 UK 75,8

5 France 47,9

Source: UNWTO (2019)

China is the worlds leading country with the highest spending on tourism. In 2018, Chinese travellers spent around 277 billion dollars on tourism. USA and Germany take in the second and third position with a spending of respectively 144 and 94 billion dollars.

Destinations of international trips

Top 10 popular tourist destinations (2018)

Ranking Country

1. Thailand

2. Japan

3. Vietnam

4. Singapore

5. Indonesia

6. Malaysia

7. USA

8. Cambodia

9. Russia

10. The Philippines

Source: Ctrip (2018); Forbes (2018); China Travel News (2018); Travel China Guide (2019); ETC (2019)

Thailand, Japan and Vietnam are the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists (based on online bookings data).

The main competitors for Europe outside of Asia are the United States of America (place 7).

According to the European Travel Commission (ETC), there was an increase of 5% in flights to the EU in 2018 compared to 2017.

When travelling to Europe, the majority of Chinese visitors include over three countries in their travel routes.

A few of the most popular European countries are Germany, the UK, France and the Netherlands. Amsterdam is among the most popular European cities. In 2017, the Netherlands ranked in the top 10 countries with the largest airlines tickets sales.

Chinese visitors to Europe prefer arts and humanities attractions and art exhibitions like traditional European museums and buildings.

The largest concerns related to travel are terrorism, crime, and political tensions like Brexit. Also language concerns are worrying for Chinese people.

Trips to Europe: Schengen visa requirements

Source: Visa Reservation (2018); TLS (2018); Sweden Abroad (2018)

All Chinese travellers that wish to visit the Schengen area have to apply for the Schengen Visa.

China ranks as second-highest applicant for a visum for the Schengen area worldwide.

A short stay visa is valid amongst all Schengen countries for a period of maximum 90 days. A long stay visa exceeds 90 days.

There are 14 locations in China where residents can apply for a Schengen Visa for entering the Netherlands (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Jinan, Nanjing, Wuhan, Changsha, Xian, Kunming & Fuzhou)

Since 2015, all visa applicants for the Schengen area are required to provide their biometric data. These include fingerprints as well as a digital photograph. Biometric data will be stored in the VIS (Visa Information System) database for 59 months.

During the China-EU Tourism Year (2018), an effort was made to make the application process for a visum for the Schengen area easier and less time consuming for Chinese passport holders.

Interests Chinese travellers

Chinese travellers are interested in culture and nature. 43% sais that they selected their last destination due to the appeal of the local culture, while 42% looks for natural features and landscapes of a possible destination.

Chinese are international explorers: 85% of the Chinese travellers selected a destination that they had never visited before during their last trip

Source: Phocuswright (June 2019) - Destination Selection Trends Among Chinese Travelers.


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