What’s influencing Chinese millennial travelers?

Within a country of 400 million millennials, China’s young globetrotters now account for about 60% of international travel. With more disposable income than their parents, Chinese millennial travelers are fueling the growth of global tourism.

The new report of Jing Travel in collaboration with Carat and the Shanghai Data Exchange (SHDX), provides some very useful insights to understand what influences Chinese millennials to travel, where they want to go, and how do they plan their next adventure.


Who are Chinese millennial travelers?

More than 55% of Chinese millennial travelers come from the biggest Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. According to the study Chinese millennial travelers can be classified in 3 categories:

Adventurous influencer They have a keen interest in culture, seeking out richer experiences in the cities they are looking to visit. Food, art, outdoor activities, and live music are key areas of interest for them as they research destinations. They are highly active on social networks and are seen as the opinion leaders. This is the smallest group but also the more influent.


Followers of fashion They prioritize higher quality experiences and are driven by a desire to relax. They attach great importance to the atmosphere of physical location. This is the most affluent group, with very high household income. In their digital journey, they explored many sites prior to booking, browsing pictures of their destinations, and reading others users’ reviews.

Culturally curious The largest of the 3 groups. They enjoy a range of leisure activities, from music to cooking. They are looking for cultural enrichment, experience in nature, and interaction with other cultures.

How do they plan their next adventure?

95% of China‘s internet users use a mobile device to connect online, spending 2¼ hours everyday on their phones.

The time taken to decide on where to go is surprisingly spontaneous: 37% decide just 1 month before and 33% didn’t confirm their plans until just 1 week before they left, with a peak for key travel periods: summer and winter holidays and Chinese national holidays.

When it comes to booking flights and travel, price is a key factor. Chinese millennial travelers love to get a good deal and are highly receptive to promotional ticket prices, taking action when they see special offers.


What destinations do they choose?

Chinese millennials will take almost 70% more trips overseas in 2020 compared to 2015 and will look for more exotic experiences and far-flung destinations than their parents.

South East Asia and Japan are the most popular destinations by volume, however there is a real interest for more diverse destinations outside the traditional choices in Asia.  For example, the US and Europe. European destinations are influenced by concerns over personal safety, especially in cities like London and Paris. Russia, Denmark, and Sweden registered the fastest growth in terms of Chinese tourist arrivals in the first half of 2017 (China Tourism Research Institute, Ctrip).

For this generation, travel is a defining part of their identity, but their expectations are high. Hoteliers will have to offer real experiences during their stay.

Leave a Comment