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Chinese Traveler Footprint Set to Reach $375 Billion by 2022

The outbound expenditure of Chinese travelers expected to skyrocket in coming years, says GlobalData

Outbound expenditure of Chinese travelers is set to increase from $244bn in 2018 to $375bn by 2022, at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3% according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Overnight stays for Chinese travelers are forecast to slow down over the next five years, and yet tourists will be venturing internationally more frequently. Outbound trips will increase due to improved air services and connectivity, visa policy adjustments and the continual development of new and upcoming destinations. Thus, outbound trips and expenditure mirror growth for the years 2018 to 2022.

“Due to rising numbers of the affluent middle class, higher disposable incomes and decreases in unemployment, outbound expenditure is set for rapid growth within the next few years, with a high CAGR of 12.6 percent for 2020 to 2022,” said Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData. “For 2019 alone there will be an increase of 9.7%, generating $268bn.”

Chinese travelers are becoming more interest-driven, searching for authentic experiences, reflecting a boost in entertainment and sightseeing expenditure, the report notes.

“As younger generations look for forms of experiential travel, specializing in a particular form of tourism such as gastro, eco and cultural, they are willing to spend more on different types of experiences. Targeting different market segments within these particular forms of tourism enables DMO’s and local authorities to attract a wider berth of Chinese travelers, yet reduces the risk of overcrowding and potential degradation of resources,” Bonhill-Smith added

China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and its outbound and domestic tourism are among the fastest growing globally. Rising disposable income, easing of visa restrictions, improved air connectivity and the active support by the Chinese government are key reasons for the booming tourist industry in China. China is a force too big to ignore and industry players globally are seeking to effectively tap into this market.

Whereas travelers from China historically preferred traveling as part of tour groups, this trend is increasingly changing for the rise of the independent Chinese travelers, who prefer to plan their trip, as well as travel, without a group.

– Between 2013-2017, domestic tourism grew by 10.8%, with Chinese making 2.6 billion domestic trips in 2017. During the same period, outbound tourism grew by 8.6%, with international departures from the country reaching 136.5 million.

– Domestic trips in China are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 10.1% in the period 2017-2022 totaling 4.2 billion by 2022.

– The majority of Chinese tourists travel to Asia, particularly Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao. Europe is the second most popular destination, with France and Italy being the top choices in the continent.

– Millennials, totaling 400 million or so, are driving the outbound tourist boom. The tech savvy generation is willing to explore the world and are seeking more adventurous experiences.

– Family and multi-generational holidays in China are on the rise, as international travel is becoming more affordable.

– Experienced travelers are willing to experiment with lesser-known destinations and develop more refined demands.

– First-time travelers prefer to travel in groups as they provide them with a safety net against cultural and language barriers.

– Air connections are expanding, connecting both tier-1 and lower-tier cities with more parts of the world and enabling Chinese