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Chinese FITs to travel and spend more in next two years

08/15/2016| 11:48:25 AM| 中文

Half of Chinese FITs plan to travel and spend More in the Next Two Years with U.S. Among their Top 5 most visited destinations.

China’s outbound travel season is due to peak in early October, according to Phocuswright study entitled China Unbounded: The Rapid Rise of China’s Outbound Millions.  

In 2015, the number of Chinese outbound leisure trips grew 20% year-on-year to 120 million, based on figures released by the Chinese National Tourism Administration1, with expenditure reaching USD 205.7 billion according to China Unbounded.

“China’s growing number of ‘Free Independent Travelers’ present vast, untapped opportunities for global tourism service providers and hospitality businesses,” said Leo Lin, chief of staff of TripAdvisor’s China business, “Businesses with the goal of attracting Chinese FITs not only need to come up with a strong, tailored strategy, but be prepared to constantly adapt to their evolving expectations.”

The study revealed that China’s FITs are typically young, well-educated and relatively affluent.

* 89% Chinese FITs are adults aged 18-44, with 41% of them belonging to the Post-80s generation (aged 25-34)
* 77% Chinese FITs had an undergraduate degree or higher and 44% earned a monthly income of USD 2,300 or more
* A larger share of Chinese FITs come from major cities and more than a quarter of Chinese FITs surveyed lived in southern China’s Guangdong province, followed by Shanghai, Sichuan province, Beijing and Jiangsu province
* Chinese FITs have taken an average of 5.5 international trips in their lifetime, higher than the overall average Chinese outbound traveler at 5.2 international trips
* English proficiency is reasonably high among Chinese FITs with 41% saying they can understand most English
This type of Chinese traveler is also increasingly self-reliant, preferring to organize their own itinerary and shifting away from the antiquated stereotype of pre-packaged large and escorted group tours. In fact, nine in 10 Chinese FITs purchased travel components individually for their most recent international leisure trip.

* Chinese FITs have a short travel planning cycle with nearly one-third (32%) choosing their destination one to two weeks prior to their departure for their last trip
* Nearly one in five (18%) Chinese FITs decide where to go within less than a week of their departure
Chinese FITs have a propensity for longer trips, with travel peaks in early October

* Over a quarter (29%) of outbound trips are taken in October, and 77% of outbound trips occur between May and October
* One in three (34%) Chinese FITs spent three nights or less on their last international trip, compared to 40% who spent 4-6 nights and over a quarter (26%) who spent seven or more nights abroad. Nearly a third of trips taken around National Day holiday (October 1st) consist of seven nights or more.
Short haul travel to neighbouring destinations continues to dominate outbound trips, with the U.S. at the top of the list when they want to travel further.

Short-haul destinations in Greater China, North Asia and Southeast Asia account for more than 9 in 10 outbound FIT trips. The top three countries visited by Chinese FITs on their last leisure trip were Japan, Thailand, and South Korea.

Top countries visited by Chinese FITs on their last outbound leisure trip

1. Japan
2. Thailand
3. South Korea
4. United States
5. Malaysia
6. Singapore
7. France
8. United Kingdom
9. Italy
10. Canada
The Chinese FIT spends on average USD 2,700 per trip, with 29% having spent USD 3,070 or more on their last trip abroad. The biggest spenders were from Beijing USD 4,070, Sichuan province USD 3,400, and Shanghai USD 3,400.

With an average spend of USD 1,050, shopping accounted for the lion’s share of Chinese FITs’ international travel budget regardless of destination. Chinese FITs are the biggest shoppers during trips to the U.S. and Canada with an average shopping spend of USD 2,700.

Second to shopping, Chinese FITs spend an average spend of USD 700 on airplane tickets and USD 470 on accommodation. The average spends on dining for Chinese FITs was USD 320.

And they plan to spend more and travel more in the next two years.

While short haul destinations in East Asia (especially in Greater China) remain a top choice for outbound Chinese FITs, there is also strong interest in long-haul travel to Europe, Australasia and North America in the next two years.

Nearly half (49%) of outbound Chinese FITs plan to take more trips in the next two years as compared to the last 12 months, and more than half of them plan to take longer trips (52%) and spend more (54%) while abroad.

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TAGS: TripAdvisor | Phocuswright | study | FITs
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