Learn More About The New Chinese Tourists

Ever noticed how the travel bucket lists of Chinese tourists are evolving? Gone are the days when we could make educated guesses about their preferences based on old travel brochures and age-old stereotypes. As the world of tourism gets more diverse and dynamic, so do the tastes of China’s globe-trotters. If we’re aiming to woo them, we need to step up our game and truly understand what tickles their travel fancy. Blindly marketing to myths? That’s a strategy of the past.

Let’s dive into the real desires of today’s Chinese travelers and discover how we can tailor our approach to not just meet but exceed their expectations. Ready to embark on this journey? Let’s go!

Who are the new Chinese tourists?

The Chinese tourists represent a part of the higher middle class and the upper class, over 18% of the Chinese population, or 250 million Chinese. They are on average 34 years old and usually prepare their trip to a Chinese travel agency.

Chinese people have begun traveling abroad in the last two decades as their economy grew and disposable incomes increased. In the past, the Chinese favorite destinations were South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand, but now Europe attracts them the most with 24.6% of the market shares for France, 15.6% for Germany, 9.2% for Switzerland, and 8.7% for Spain.

Some non-EU nations such as Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, have benefited from implementing visa-free stays for Chinese tourists over the last year, though neither country introduced the measures until spring 2018.

In general, they just speak Mandarin or Cantonese, not even English. So, this may require additional service in your travel agency to better reach them. The Chinese tourists are hyperconnected, they share their photos on social media, and use the Internet to locate themselves and find good places.

The New Chinese Traveller, New Chinese Tourists

Younger Travelers Taking the Lead

Remember when it was mostly the older, seasoned folks touring the world? Well, not anymore! Today’s travel scene is pulsating with energy from the younger crowd. Millennials and Gen Z are not just boarding planes; they’re reshaping the entire travel playbook with their unique demands and wanderlust.

The Rise of Independent Travelers

Say goodbye to the large tour groups following a flag and say hello to the explorers! There’s a burgeoning tribe of independent travelers – those who prefer to set their own pace, curate their own itineraries, and dive deep into authentic experiences. Solo journeys, and intimate small-group travels – they’re on the rise and show no signs of slowing down.

Senior Citizens: An Untapped Market

Just when you thought you had the demographics figured out, here comes a surprising twist: senior citizens! They aren’t just spending their golden years in rocking chairs. Many are packing their bags and setting out on adventures, keen on discovering new places and experiences. It’s high time the travel industry takes note of this vibrant, curious, and often overlooked segment.

Seniors spending more on travel - Chinadaily.com.cn

Changing Travel Preferences: A Deeper Dive into New Desires

As the world opens up and international travel becomes more accessible, the desires and demands of travelers from Mainland China morph in fascinating ways. Let’s uncover the fresh trends sweeping through the travel choices of today’s Chinese travellers.

Preference for solo or small group outbound trips

Remember those massive tour buses from before COVID-19 times, packed with tourists hopping from one landmark to another? They’re becoming a less common sight. The modern Chinese traveler seeks more than just a checklist of attractions. They’re moving away from the one-size-fits-all approach, desiring tailor-made experiences that speak to their personal interests.

The Authentic Experience Hunt

The lure of the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon remains, but there’s a new thirst that’s evident: a hunger for authenticity. Today’s travelers are keen on immersing themselves in the local culture, favoring genuine interactions over staged touristy shows. It’s all about diving deep, connecting with locals, and soaking in the real essence of a destination.

Europe brings on charm and blue skies to lure Chinese tourists

Exploring New Frontiers

Gone are the days when popular capitals were the only stops on an itinerary. Now, there’s an adventurous spirit driving tourists to explore the uncharted – unique destinations away from the usual crowds, eco-friendly spots that promise sustainability, and hidden gems that offer a fresh perspective on travel.

How to Promote Your Destination or Products to New Chinese Tourists: A Practical Guide

Making a splash in the vast ocean of the Chinese outbound tourism market isn’t about big gestures; it’s about precision, cultural understanding, and leveraging the right digital tools. Here’s your blueprint:

Start by creating a Chinese website

A dedicated Chinese website is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. Chinese travelers seek a tailored online experience that mirrors their cultural and linguistic preferences. This means a Mandarin-based website, culturally apt designs, and content that addresses their unique pain points and aspirations.

Search engine marketing: Baidu is the king

The SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) process is completely different in China, you need to adopt alternative techniques when compared to Western search engines like Google. If you do not have a presence on Chinese search engines, Chinese tourists simply will barely know who you are and may not trust your company. Being present on China’s largest search engine Baidu is extremely important for every successful digital marketing strategy. Chinese tourists.

Baidu offers a wide variety of advertising options for businesses in China. However, advertising on Baidu a great deal of information, in order to keep in line with Chinese government regulations, making the process quite unfriendly for foreign businesses.

Setup official accounts on Chinese social media platforms

Platforms like WeChat, Douyin, and Xiaohongshu are central hubs of information for Chinese tourists. To effectively leverage these platforms, brands need to create compelling narratives that resonate with the Chinese audience. From visually rich stories to interactive campaigns and quizzes, engaging content can generate considerable traction.

Moreover, partnerships with influencers can amplify reach and offer credibility. Think of how Bali became a hotspot after several influencers showcased its serene beaches and cultural landmarks on Douyin.

Chinese people are engaging in both domestic trips and travel abroad, with international and domestic tourism being on an upward trend of reaching pre-pandemic levels (like 2019 levels), and they take inspiration for new international destinations mainly from social media.

Douyin KOL marketing travel

Online Travel Agencies (OTA)

The most popular names in the OTA industry in China for 2023 are Ctrip, CNCN.com, Alitrip (Fliggy), Long, Lvmama, LY.com, Qunar.com, and Tuniu. It is vital that you allow your hotel/service to access their online booking features. Make sure there is also a booking feature and international flights advisory on your own website.

Travel agents are still the most used mode of booking holidays for Chinese tourists, even FITs mostly book through online travel agencies. Collaborating with OTA’s is vital for travel agencies to sell destinations, activities, or hotels.

Perfect the localization of your services

Localization goes beyond mere translation. The essence of your brand should be communicated in a way that connects emotionally with the Chinese audience. This involves appreciating and integrating local festivals, understanding regional values, and adapting your messaging to resonate with local sentiments.

Capitalize on wellness and adventure travel

There’s a marked shift towards vacations that offer both relaxation and exhilaration. Whether it’s a yoga retreat in the Himalayas or a desert safari in Dubai, it’s essential to tune into this growing demand and present offerings that align with these interests.

Make sure you have Chinese payment systems

Every country has different payment habits and currencies. China’s recent technological evolution has greatly impacted local consumer behavior.

Chinese tourists do not use Western credit cards and don’t like carrying large sums of cash. It’s important to think about how you can set up a system that accepts Alipay, WeChat Wallet and China UnionPay will definitely make the process worth it. By offering an easier way to accept payments, you can win the Chinese market.

Align with Chinese Holidays

Recognizing and integrating Chinese holidays into promotional campaigns for outbound travel can be a game-changer. Whether it’s crafting special packages for the Lunar New Year, Golden Week, or the Mid-Autumn Festival, recognizing these cultural moments can lead to increased bookings for those planning to travel internationally and heightened brand affinity.

Imagine launching a special “Lantern Experience” during the Lantern Festival, combining both cultural immersion and novelty. Such initiatives can set your brand apart in the eyes of potential Chinese customers.

We are here to help you! So who are we?

GENTLEMEN MARKETING AGENCY has solutions for you! We offer various digital marketing solutions (SEO, Social Media, E-Reputation, Forums, PR,…) to promote your business to Chinese travelers. These solutions allow you to precisely target Chinese consumers at the destinations you want.


Thanks to GMA, these travelers can visit your restaurants, hotels, museums, tour operators, cruise,…, during their trip and directly book an activity in your establishment from their home! And this works for all kinds of companies in the tourism industry.

GENTLEMEN MARKETING AGENCY is a China Digital Marketing Agency dedicated to providing digital and efficient solutions to Western businesses around the world!

Our international team of professionals will take seriously your business and determine the optimal way of promoting your business in China, so be sure to contact us!

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