Asia A glimpse at the profile of a Chinese tourist

A glimpse at the profile of a Chinese tourist

The average budget of a Chinese tourist is $4,000 (S$5,500) and most of them enjoy shopping with at least 16 per cent of their budget allocated for this activity




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From Bali to Rome, locals of a particular country would often spot a Chinese tourist enjoying their culture.

Businesses and agencies alike study the Chinese tourist portfolio in detail to optimise opportunities. It begs to ask the question, “What is the profile of a Chinese tourist?”

Firstly, the statistics. China is the world’s largest outbound tourism market, with an expected 160 million travellers in 2020. As online travel information becomes more readily available and visa policies get friendlier, the number is forecasted to double in the next five years.

There is also a growth in the Chinese higher-middle and upper-class population, which means higher spending capacity.

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Favourite destinations

China’s neighbouring Asian countries including Japan, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam are among the most popular destinations for mainland tourists, noted Bangkok Post quoting online news platform

Destinations that are four hours away from China by plane are still the most appealing to outbound tourists.

Alibaba’s travel platform, Fliggy, however, noted a change in travel destination trends beginning in 2018. Millennials, specifically those born between 1990 and 1999, are choosing long-haul flights to more exotic and niche destinations.

In 2018, Azerbaijan, Serbia, The Vatican, Georgia, Croatia, Portugal, Turkey, Ethiopia, Brazil and Peru saw the highest booking growth rates, according to the travel platform.

Spending trends

Although the Chinese don’t travel often, they go all out when they do. According to PXcomthe average budget of a Chinese tourist is $4,000 (S$5,500).

The budget is typically broken down into the following categories: hotel accommodations (18 per cent), food (16 per cent), activities or tours (15 per cent) and transport (11 per cent). Chinese tourists are heavy shoppers with at least 16 per cent of their budget being allocated on shopping.

Chinese tourists are not impulse-shoppers. There is careful planning involved in the shopping itinerary of the traveller. They create a list of what will be purchased at each destination. Then the tourist will visit Chinese websites or social media and reach out to family and friends’ past experiences for more information. Retail outlets leverage on this opportunity by announcing that they accept payments through WeChat Pay or AliPay (China’s most popular mobile payment systems).


Aside from convenient payment schemes, Chinese tourists often flock to places that offer Chinese translations and reliable Wi-Fi connections. They want to feel welcomed and would prefer a shop with posters translated in Mandarin or Cantonese because they usually don’t speak any other language.

Another characteristic of a Chinese tourist is hyperconnectivity. They are heavily dependent on social media and would share experiences throughout the trip. This means they would choose places that offer Wi-Fi. Businesses, on the other hand, use this as an opportunity as instant marketing for their brand.

Following the recent travel bans within different countries due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak that begun in Wuhan, China, the full effects on the tourism industry is yet to be determined, although countries in the Asia-Pacific region are already feeling the pressure. -/TISG

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