Do you know who the Chinese traveller is? Think again

Karun Budhraja

Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Amadeus Asia Pacific

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Last year alone 135 million Chinese travelled overseas, spending $261 billion and setting a new record for global outbound tourist spending. Yet consider that only 9% of China’s population own a passport. This makes the Chinese traveller a force to be reckoned with, but you already knew that.

China journey of me


What you may not know, is that they’re not who they used to be. Gone are the days where the only Chinese travellers you see were those travelling in tour groups. Bolder, more empowered and increasingly independent, today’s Chinese travellers are a lot more complex and diverse than you may think.

In our Journey of Me Insights: What Chinese travellers want report, we put this important group of travellers under the magnifying glass. We surveyed 1,200 Chinese travellers, and unsurprisingly, we found them to be a very mobile-driven bunch. Chinese travellers book trips through mobile more than anyone else in the region. They don’t want you to connect with them on e-mail, so try WeChat instead.

Chinese travellers are also an incredibly spontaneous and adventurous bunch. 41% of them say they plan their trips only at destination, and 80% of them have tried sharing economy options for accommodation.

They also want you to connect with them in a language that they speak. 73% of Chinese travellers think it’s important to find service staff at the destination that speak a language they understand. Contrast this against Taiwan, where only 9% of travellers think the same, yet the dominant language in both markets is Mandarin!

And if you think they’re all about saving money. Think again. While most travellers in APAC prefer recommendations that help them to save money, Chinese travellers are more interested in recommendations that help them identify the best sightseeing options.

These are just a handful of the many insightful takeaways from our landmark research. Travel players that can tap into these behaviours and ‘delight’ Chinese travellers have a real opportunity to capture their loyalty in the long run.

It also tells us that old assumptions of what Chinese travellers want from their trips to how they plan it, who they go with and how they talk about the journey after, need to be reconsidered. After all, with China now holding status as the world’s largest outbound travel market – the Chinese traveller is the one we all need to watch.

Want to learn more about today’s Chinese travellers? Download our study, Journey of Me Insights: What Asia Pacific travellers wantand check out the infographicbelow.




Asia Pacific, China, Research