Cutting-edge technology, exotic foods, adventurous activities and accommodation with an authentic local flavor – this is the travel style of the new generation of Chinese travelers.
This go-getting generation takes their travel inspiration from social media, film and television, but their main influences are each other.
Tour groups, once the preferred travel style for Chinese travelers, is definitely out, and free and easy independent travel is on the rise, with 65%of travelers preferring this travel style in 2018.
Spending climbs as travelers go further
In the past 12 months, Chinese travelers spent 40% more on traveling than the previous year and almost two thirds (60%) intend to spend more in the next 12 months.
Millennials born after 1990 are driving this big spend. In the past year, they increased their travel spending by 80%. They also spent a larger proportion of their income on travel than other age groups - more than one third (36%) for post-90s, compared with around a quarter (28%) for Chinese travelers overall. Post-80s millennials spent the most each day when traveling - USD 346 (RMB 2204) per day vs USD 320 (RMB 2038) for Chinese travelers overall.
The amount spent on accommodation is also rising. This year, travelers spent USD 30 (RMB 191) more each day on accommodation than the previous year. This rise in spending is in line with a steady increase in the income of Chinese urban dwellers, who dominate outbound traveler numbers.
The lure of distant places
Europe, North America, Latin America and Australia were favorite destinations over the past 12 months.
Asia is no longer the preferred destination. In the next 12 months, only 49% of travelers plan to travel to Asia. Instead, 60% of Chinese travelers intend to travel to a country they haven’t yet visited.
Next year, Europe, Africa and the Middle East are the top new destinations for more than half of travelers. North America will continue to be a hot favorite, and Latin America is also emerging as a popular choice, with 26% and 13% of travelers planning a first-time visit to these destinations in the next year respectively. Over a third of travelers plan to visit Oceania next year, with Australia topping the list for future visits.
Independent hotels with local flavor
This year, 55% stayed at independent hotels with local flavor and 49% at international chain hotels. Another 33% tried boutique hotels, 23% eco-friendly hotels and 21% hotels with cutting-edge technology.
Where markets could do better
A standout area where Chinese travelers would like better service is payment methods such as payment by mobile phone and QR scan via WeChat.
Almost half of travelers also thought facilities, such as bathrooms, and WiFi needed improvement and a third would like more effective self-service counters. Booking and reservation methods were not adequate according to 30% of travelers and almost a quarter wanted more local experiences and activities.
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