In 2012, China exceeded the US and Germany to become the world's largest source market for outbound tourism by expenditure1. Capturing a share of this growing market has become a top priority for tourism boards and travel suppliers alike. According to the China Tourism Academy, the Chinese outbound travel market is estimated to reach 94 million trips in 2013, up 15% year-on-year. These travelers are estimated to spend USD 117.6 billion (THB 3.6 trillion) on their trips, up 20% year-on-year.
TripAdvisor operates a highly customized version of TripAdvisor, designed specifically for Chinese travelers under the brand daodao.com. In July and August 2013, millions of unique visitors came to daodao.com to research outbound destinations, representing an increase of over 250% compared to the same time last year.
“While Hong Kong and Macau continue to draw tens of millions of mainland tourists a year given their unique roles as duty-free shopping havens supported by easy transport links, family-friendly attractions and onward air routes to other international destinations, we are definitely seeing a shift in the market and mainland travelers have started to look further afield into destinations like Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and beyond.”
Lily Cheng, Managing Director, TripAdvisor China, continues “this new generation of Chinese outbound travelers are making their own decisions about where to go, where to stay and what to do by doing their own research online, going beyond the old stereotype of big buses of group tourists. These travelers are savvy, sophisticated and do make an effort to understand and respect the local culture by doing a lot of online research before their trip. As they explore outside of mainland China, they are deliberately seeking out websites that have an established international presence to find more deals and more content.”
Based on unique visitors recorded in July and August 2013 on daodao.com, the Top 20 most popular destinations are as follows (comparing year-on-year growth for July and August 2012 versus July and August 2013):
1. Hong Kong, China (50%)
2. Phuket, Thailand (250%)
3. Taiwan (350%)
4. Bangkok, Thailand (270%)
5. Paris, France (360%)
6. Dubai, UAE (210%)
7. Macau, China (50%)
8. Seoul, South Korea (180%)
9. Singapore (170%)
10. Bali, Indonesia (310%)
11. Rome, Italy (180%)
12. Chiang Mai, Thailand (180%)
13. New York, United States (280%)
14. London, United Kingdom (120%)
15. Jeju Island, South Korea (570%)
16. Boracay, Philippines (360%)
17. Kyoto, Japan (580%)
18. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (550%)
19. Hanoi, Vietnam (510%)
20. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (190%)
Within the Top 20 destinations, Kyoto (Japan), Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Hanoi (Vietnam) and Jeju Island (South Korea) exhibited the highest year-on-year growth at high triple digits while Thailand was the only country to feature three times; ranking Phuket second, Bangkok fourth and Chiang Mai in twelfth place. Outside of the Top 20, destinations on the rise with over 4 times year-on-year growth from DaoDao.com users include Siem Reap (Cambodia), Pattaya (Thailand), Sabah (Malaysia) and Berlin (Germany).
TOP DESTINATIONS OUTSIDE ASIA
1. Paris, France (360%)
2. Dubai, UAE (210%)
3. Rome, Italy (180%)
4. New York, United States (280%)
5. London, United Kingdom (120%)
Based on what these destinations offer, it appears the top reasons Chinese travel are for shopping, relaxation, and culture.
To facilitate the tourism industry's understanding and preparation for this new wave of Chinese travelers, TripAdvisor will be releasing more insights about Chinese travelers in the coming months.