5 new trends about Chinese tourists
Over the last few years, the whole world has heard about Chinese tourists, and everyone knows that Chinese people are the new promising tourist clientele. However, the market of Chinese tourists is evolving at lightning speed. Chinese tourists’ favorite destinations, expectations and requirements are changing. They are more demanding and want to redefine the way they travel. So, what is new in 2014? Here are 5 new trends about Chinese tourists.
For quite some time, Chinese people tend to refuse calling upon travel agencies and traveling with a group of strangers. Now, they want to travel alone and enjoy their own trip! Could this be the end of group travels? A lot of Chinese tourist players like Ctrip and Qunar have already started to exploit this trend, offering products and services dedicated to independent travelers such as discounts on single bedrooms in hotels. As more Chinese people travel independently everywhere, they spend less or choose different destinations.
More conscious about local culture and food
Until now, Chinese people have usually been traveling within a group and tended to eat Chinese or Asian food while traveling abroad that could be coming to an end! Chinese people seem to be more and more conscious about local culture and food. They now want to try local specialities, especially when it comes to countries for which quality of cuisine is world-famous such as France or Italy, even though Chinese and Asian restaurants are more and more numerous near famous tourist sites worldwide, aiming at attracting Chinese tourists. This may reflect a shift in Chinese tourists’ attitude and mentality.
Medical tourism is a global trend. When the purpose of traveling is medicine, people usually choose countries which can provide lower cost medical services. This market is booming worldwide, and this is also the case in China, but not for the same reason: Chinese people want to go abroad to find medical services offering a higher quality than the services they can have in their own country.
The motivation is therefore different. Medical travels are especially appreciated by wealthy Chinese people who can afford to go abroad and pay more for medical services. Japan, South Korea and Thailand have already attracted tens of thousands of Chinese tourists asking for specialized medical services. Plastic and cosmetic surgery is becoming increasingly famous for Chinese women as well as thermal cures.
Traveling is no longer reserved for young Chinese people. Retired people traveling abroad are more and more numerous. Thus, a lot of travel agencies specialized in tours dedicated to retired and old people have emerged. For instance, this is the case for Xi’an (Xianlnt.cn): this tour operator offers trips dedicated to old people. The types of travel, choices of destination and programs offering by Xi’an are adapted to them, meeting their specific needs and expectations. The agency offers a lot of medical travels to countries where they can benefit from excellent medical services at affordable prices.
Wedding abroad with stars
The new whim of Chinese tourists – and especially rich ones – is wedding abroad with stars! The main purpose: showing their wealth and financial success. Indeed, weddings are very important in China’s society, and are an occasion to show one’s happiness and social status to others. Chinese people are ready to spend a huge amount of money for their wedding. The business of weddings and honeymoons abroad is booming, and the country which benefits most is France, considered to be the country of luxury and romance for Chinese people. Exotic destinations and islands are also very successful for this type of tourism.
Conclusion – trends about Chinese tourists
To attract Chinese tourists, tourist players have to adapt to their needs and try to meet their expectations; this can be very difficult as the market is constantly evolving. The best solution to be sure not to miss the potential of Chinese tourists: improve one’s visibility and notoriety on the Chinese web. Indeed, Chinese tourists are more and more influenced by the Internet and plan their whole trip on the web! They also share a lot of information, appreciations and comments on social media: an excellent way to know their needs and requirements.
About the Author:
Olivier Verot is the founder of Gentlemen Marketing Agency, which is an agency based in Shanghai that focuses on Chinese travelers and tourism. Fluent in Mandarin and exploring the various Chinese digital Strategies, he helps tourism companies to develop their China strategy. Thanks to his analyzes of Chinese consumers’ behavior, he has been recognized as an expert on the subject of marketing in China and tourism.