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Market Research Report on Chinese Outbound Tourism 2015-2016

06 December 2016

The World Tourism Cities Federation has published the results of research done for them by Ipsos in order to:

"...better understand the development trends of China’s outbound tourism market, systematically and comprehensively summarize and display the consumption habits and behaviors of Chinese outbound tourists as well as relevant changes in this regard. WTCF and Ipsos are dedicated to providing valuable
reference to the world’s tourism industry, and providing suggestions to member cities and organizations to help them improve market operation and services."

A total of 11,173 effective questionnaires were completed by Chinese tourists who had traveled abroad in the past year.

Key findings:

  • Outbound tourism has become a habit of Chinese citizens. More than 75% said they believe tourism is an important source of quality of life and happiness. Respondents said they traveled abroad an average of 4.87 times last year, and to 3-4 overseas cities.
  • Instead of taking whirlwind shopping tours, Chinese outbound tourists are now focusing on experiencing other cultures, local cuisine and services, natural scenery and historic sites.
  • Chinese outbound tourists now are researching foreign travel carefully and paying attention to the quality of offerings; convenience, comfort and guaranteed services are priorities.
  • Chinese tourists have become safety-conscious and are paying attention to risk-prevention; more than 90% buy travel insurance.
  • Online travel researching and booking have become important for Chinese tourists.
  • Growth in Chinese outbound is expected to continue.

Quoting from the report:

"Chinese citizens broaden their vision and gain knowledge through tourism.This practice will be carried forward by future generations. Changes may occur in the consumption behaviors and habits of Chinese tourists, but there is an irrevocable growth trend in the scale growth of tourism."

The English translation in which this report has been published on the WTCF site is pretty rough, and the "key findings" as I've stated them above are my paraphrases. If the findings of this research are mission-critical for you, recommend you try to get the Chinese-language original from Ipsos and have a better translation made.

If the average number of trips abroad per year for 11K random respondents was in fact 4.87 - and if as eMarketer predicts Chinese outbound trip numbers will increase by 30% in 2017 - and if all these trips are no longer just about shopping - the Chinese outbound market is looking better and better all the time.

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David Boggs    - David
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