The Chinese tourists culture of souvenir gifts


The New China Outbound Tourism Handbook 2023 forecasts 228 million Chinese travellers per year by 2030. The international shopping measurement specialists calculated that 90% of a Chinese traveller’s budget is spent on shopping. Most of them spend an average of 1,460 euros per purchase. But these purchases are not only for the tourists themselves… In fact, going on a trip abroad is a symbol of success and in Chinese culture, offering gifts to relatives or business partners is then a social requirement. So that it is pretty common for the Chinese who line up in front of boutiques abroad, to do so not only for their personal shopping but also to shop for gifts for their relatives!

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Why do they buy abroad?

China imposes high taxes on luxury goods imported from abroad. So it’s cheaper for the Chinese to buy these kinds of goods outside their home country. So much so that the Chinese government forecasts a tourist spending deficit in 2023. This deficit is due to the fact that more and more Chinese people spend their money while travelling abroad and instead fewer foreign tourists stay in China and therefore fewer of them spend money on Chinese soil.

How a local souvenir shop or a restaurant can attract Chinese tourists?  

????Expert tips:
  1. Register your location on Baidu Maps (just like on Google)
  2. Create an account on Dianping
  3. Work on your e-reputation in China
  4. Adapt Chinese payment methods

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n addition to high taxes, the Chinese do not trust the authenticity of the product purchased in China. Indeed, in countries where counterfeiting reigns, there are even counterfeit products on the shelves of authentic shops of luxurious brands. That’s why last year Louis Vuitton and Gucci announced that they would not open any more stores in China.

A Guide to Entering China Luxury Market

What gifts?

The gifts that the Chinese bring back to their families are extremely well chosen. In fact, in China, the gift that you offer usually represents the value of the relationship you have with the person to whom you give this gift. So this gift has a significant meaning. Its price is also important, the higher it is the better it gives a face to the person that buys it or receives it. In fact, the price is related to the face because it expresses that the person has reached a certain social status.

So the Chinese prefer gifts from very notorious brands whose products are expensive. The top international brands such as range Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Burberry, therefore, benefit greatly from the gift culture in China. The biggest categories where Chinese are spending to buy gifts abroad, whether it is to offer men or women are the following: clothing, leather goods, perfumes, jewellery and cosmetics.


To the Chinese, labour relations come just after personal relationships in terms of importance. It is therefore natural that they also bring back gifts for their business partners in their suitcases. Offering gifts in the business world is a tradition in China, it helps preserves good relations.

12 Key Dates for your e-Commerce & Marketing campaigns in China

In this case, they prefer to offer bottles of red wine and other spirits of the country they have been visiting, it is very well seen since this kind of bottle is also heavily taxed in China. Boxes of tea, pieces of art and culinary specialities of the country they visited will also be appreciated by business partners of Chinese tourists travelling abroad.

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The gift has a very important place in Chinese culture, so bringing back gifts of great value to family and business partners in China is a social requirement that they cannot avoid. The shops of high-end products, therefore, have a bright future ahead of them, even outside of China.

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