China’s outbound tourism is growing despite the economic turmoil

More than 109 million Chinese travelled abroad for leisure last year and currently 1 in 10 international outbound travelers is Chinese. This number is only expected to rise.

An Ifop report shows that 30% of the Chinese are planning to travel abroad over the next 5 years and saving for traveling is the 3rd saving concern after saving for a rainy day and kids’ education. The National Population and Family Planning Commission has recently released projections, estimating the population of China to peak at 1.39 billion by the end of 2015 and remain constant over the next 5 years. Needless to say that the potential is huge for the tourism industry to meet the needs of these 400 million Chinese travelers!

1st tier cities are the engines of this growth while 2nd and 3rd tiers are catching up.

This is a challenge for the tourism industry. Middle-class travelers are still seeking for shopping in hotspots but the affluent ones are shifting towards experiential travels, increasingly looking to venture off the beaten path and to share their moments on social media such as WeChat.

Resorts, Spas, restaurants and cruise providers would be the first ones to benefit from the change but retailers are not outdone. Shopping for fashion will always remain a must yet purchases of souvenirs and local specialties will increase as a way to extend the dream.


Article written by Thi My Nguyen, Project Manager Ifop Asia