Tourism Source Market Insights: China

by Sameer Joshi or 01-Apr-2018

What lies behind the rapid growth of outbound and domestic tourism in China

Chinese outbound travel represents the single most important source market for the tourist industry globally. GlobalData expects strong growth in outbound travel and spending from China within the next five years.

At a Glance: The Chinese tourist market in 2017

In 2017, average domestic spending per trip experienced robust growth, but average overseas spending per trip declined. However, a reversal in this trend is expected in 2018, with outbound spending forecast to rebound.

Although China is the largest outbound market in the world, domestic travel is outstripping international travel, with a total of 2.8 billion domestic trips compared to 136.5 million outbound trips.

Tourists from tier-1 cities dominate international travel. Travelers from cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu tend to be more experienced; as they travel more, their demands are becoming more refined and they prefer to travel independently.

Outbound travel from secondary cities in China is growing rapidly, as more air routes are inaugurated, connecting such cities to the rest of the world. The majority of people from tier-2 cities in China are first-time travelers and prefer to travel in groups.

Millennials are leading the outbound tourism boom in the country. This cohort presents great opportunities for the industry, which must formulate detailed strategies on how to attract this target group.