Chinese tourist behaviour changing amid boom in overseas travel

The number of holiday makers from China seeking out international destinations continues to rise, creating an increasingly lucrative segment for countries and destinations able to attract them to their shores. A report from Oliver Wyman demonstrates major shifts in the retail trends, among others, of Chinese tourists abroad.

Role of the travel agent in planning trips declined significantly

The research found that the planning of trips has changed over the past year, with more and more respondents turning away from travel agents in favour of planning trips themselves. In 2015 for instance, 49% of respondents planned their own trip and around 28% planned their trip jointly with their companion – while 15% opted to use a travel agent. Last year however, the number of respondents using a travel agent fell to 2%, while 15% said they planned a trip with their companion. The biggest segment last year, comprising 74% of respondents, planned the trip by themselves.

Proportion of Chinese traveling with their families has increased significantly

The study also found that the proportion of travellers not travelling alone has increased over the past two years, up from 46% in 2015 who were travelling with their spouse to 59%. The number of respondents travelling with children has increased by 12 percentage points to 24% - those travelling alone has fallen to 6% of the trips recorded.

Average shopping spend as share of trip budget

Tourists to France were found to be most interested in luxury goods shopping, largely for cosmetics and jewellery; while the low pound has attracted an increasing number of Chinese travellers on packaged holidays to the UK,which was previously seen as expensive. Japan and Hong Kong have seen trip lengths decrease, meanwhile, partly due to changes in shopping behaviour related to changes in the value of regional currencies – both still see increases in the number of tourist visits.

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