The opportunity

In 2017, 130 million Chinese travelled abroad. In 2020, it will be 200 million and by 2030 it will be 400 million. This represents a quantum shift. Chinese are overtaking outbound tourists from other countries in volume, spend and advancement, to become the world´s biggest tourism segment.

Chinese tourists will be more adventurous and enterprising, choosing the internet and mobile applications to explore and navigate. Tailor-made itineraries are rapidly gaining traction among China’s luxury travelers, with the demography becoming better travelled, more globally-oriented, more plugged-in to the gamut of products available and motivated by more complex needs. Now the ‘real high-end’ segment looks for tailor-made experiences, niche destinations and properties with few Chinese guests. The opportunity to seek out exclusive places and activities, where there are no other Chinese will increasingly become a value in itself.

Chinese people account for 1/3 of global spending on luxury goods, and about 20 percent of all global spending by international tourists. According to Hurun‘s The Chinese Luxury Traveller 2017 report, the proportion of wealthy Chinese choosing standard packages fell from 37 per cent in 2015 to 26 per cent last year, with half showing preference for fine-tuned packages (27 per cent) or fully-customizable packages (23 percent). Hamburg-based China Outbound Tourism Research Institute confirms in its spring 2018 report a year-on-year growth rate of customized travel at 14 percent.

Chinese travelers are not only become more savvy and sophisticated in terms of how they spend their time abroad, they are also leading the way with mobile payments. 65 percent of Chinese travelers use mobile payments during their overseas trips.

International media is reporting on the unstoppable rise of the Chinese traveler. Upscale is harnessing the potential of independent travelers that are choosing the unbeaten track and exclusive local experiences and activities.