February 13, 2018

New data from Ctrip illustrates how rapidly Chinese travel is changing

The two most obvious trends illustrated in the report is the rising importance of independent travel and the growth of lower-tier cities as tourism source markets.

2017 was also the year China became the world’s largest tourism source market with 129 million outbound trips.

It’s important to note that many of the conclusions in the new report from Ctrip, done in partnership with the China Tourism Academy (CTA), are based on Ctrip’s data and is not representative of all macro trends in the Chinese travel industry. Nonetheless, given the increasingly digital nature of Chinese travel, the findings still provide valuable insights into Chinese travel as a whole.

Of particular note is how Ctrip users in 2017 were almost evenly divided between group and independent travel. 44 percent and 42 percent of Ctrip users opted for group and independent travel respectively. Free independent travelers (FITs) tend to utilize online resources to independently plan and book trips.

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