Outbound tourists from China’s lower-tier cities desire independent travel
The growth of independent travel from China’s lower-tier cities is outpacing that in Shanghai, Beijing, and other first-tier cities, according to a recent report.
The growth of independent travel from China’s lower-tier cities is outpacing that in Shanghai, Beijing, and other first-tier cities, according to a report jointly conducted by Skyscanner’s Chinese entity and UnionPay’s big data subsidiary UnionPay Smart.
While the first-tier cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai remain the most important source markets of Chinese independent travelers, the report finds that lower-tier cities are quickly catching up—with growth rates far beyond all first-tier cities except Shenzhen, which is still catching up with its peers.
An ever-increasing number of direct flights to international destinations from lower-tier cities, as well as easing visa restrictions have all made independent travel from China more convenient than ever.
According to the data presented by Skyscanner and UnionPay, female independent travelers outnumber men by four percentage points. The lion’s share of all Chinese independent travelers are part of the millennial generation—68% of independent travelers are between 15 and 34 years old. Travelers older than 55 years only represent a small share of all independent travel and are much more likely to join group tours for their overseas visits.
The report found that the most-preferred airline among Chinese independent travelers is low-cost carrier Spring Airlines, which is servicing a growing number of international destinations throughout Asia. Asia’s largest low-cost carrier, AirAsia, also ranks among the top choices for independent travelers.
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