Helsingin Sanomat, Finnish biggest newspaper was in editorial last week talking about Chinese travellers motives to visit in Finland. The article was arguing that Finland is promoted with wrong ideas among Chinese outbound travellers. Maybe we Finns are having more positive idea about the Chinese market and it's potential. We could still say here that maybe we are just waiting too much too soon. Yes, the bednight volume has increased nicely and but not spreaded evenly. The Chinese outbound market is not that matured yet there is demand for every destination in Nordic markets. Shopping is important part of Chinese customers and it is true the Chinese outbound travellers are time poor. What we could expect then in short term time? ETOA published in their blog also an article which was targeted to the same topic - what the Chinese are really looking for.
"While there’s no shortage of research content on the Chinese outbound market, a recently published report from the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) combines a comprehensive assessment of market trends with detailed analysis of the characteristics and behaviour of the Chinese when it comes to travel and planning.
In terms of the development potential of the Chinese market, the report highlights four issues that are particularly relevant to TOs and the wider travel trade.
- The number of Chinese outbound tourists will continue to grow, driven by an easing of visa restrictions making it more convenient for Chinese tourists to travel abroad. China has visa exemption treaties in place with 99 countries, as well as a further 59 visa procedures-simplifying agreements
- Second and third-tier cities offer great potential for outbound tourism market. While the majority of outbound demand is from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, an increasing improvement in living standards and real incomes means that residents in second and third-tier cities are engaging more with travel beyond China. There is a sharp increase in demand for outbound tourism in such coastal provinces such as Tianjin, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Liaoning as well as in central and western provinces including Hubei and Sichuan.
- The research shows that the Chinese are embracing all forms of tourism, including guided group travel, independent travel, semi-independent travel and self-guided travel. Independent travel, in particular, is enjoying rapid growth in the markets of the first-tier cities, and closing the gap on the traditional preference for group travel. Like many developed tourism markets, Chinese visitors are displaying a greater desire for travel personalisation and differentiation.
- Usage of the Internet, especially on mobile devices, has enjoyed great popularity in China. In 2014 there were nearly 649 million internet users, while the number of mobile phone users reached 556.78 million. And 67% of tourists use the Internet and mobile Internet in their travel planning and booking. The Chinese government’s commitment to developing Internet Plus will mean that internet and mobile will have an even more central role in the traveller experience. The message for operators in China is that you cannot afford not to be digitally wired with the market.
In 2014, Chinese outbound tourism consumption in total reached US$165 billion, up 28% on a year-on-year basis. This makes it the World’s largest origin market, accounting for 11% of international tourism revenues. In long-haul destinations, Europe is the most popular preference, with 32% of travellers having visited the region. It is followed by America (20.3%), Oceania (10.4%) and Africa (4.4%). In spite of the more recent economic tensions in China, there is little evidence that this has had any major impact on travel demand."
ToolBox is partner company of Chinese Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) and European Tour Operator Association (ETOA). We are providing research material, training programmes about Chinese market, handling technical visit groups and providing marketing activities in China (viral campaigning, fairs and workshops) in Baltic states, Nordic countries and Russia.
For more information: kari.halonen(at)toolboxtravel.fi