November 13, 2018

Here comes the Chinese tourist 2.0


Travel and luxury industry veterans gathered in New York City to discuss the latest Chinese global traveler trends.

Cashing in on outbound Chinese travelers is a challenge these days. Research in recent years has shown that the appetite for outbound travel is still strong and that people are traveling more frequently. But Chinese tourists are spending less than before. That means the top priority for brands, online travel agencies, and other cultural institutions is to adapt (and quickly) to this changing travel consumer trend.

Outbound Chinese travelers have evolved a few times, according to the co-founder of China Luxury Advisor, Renee Hartmann. Trends used to feature “Tourist 1.0,” meaning Chinese travelers who liked to travel on group tours, often at a low price and run on a rushed schedule. However, in recent years, Chinese outbound travelers are becoming “Tourist 2.0s”: in other words, experience-seekers who would rather embark on self-guided, independent tours (road trips to national parks, stays in five-star hotels, or foodie tours).

Thrill-seeking Chinese millennials, widely known as the cultural connoisseurs in that country, are trendsetting these independent tours. “We are seeing millennials particularly wanting to collect souvenirs,” said Hartmann. “They are wondering, ‘What stuff I can get that’s not in China?’”

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