Chinese tourist to Africa grow 306%
NUREMBERG, Germany, January 14, 2016/PRNewswire
GfK’s latest analysis of the Chinese market shows China produced 109 million outbound tourists in 2015 – with retail spend of US$229 billion. This is a key milestone in China’s outbound tourism history.
These statistics consolidate China’s position as one of the top global sources of tourists, in terms of both number of trips and money spent during international travel. At the same time, there have been profound changes in the behaviour of the typical Chinese traveller, with Chinese Millennials firmly established as the core drivers of China’s outbound tourism spending.
Up to 2013, Hong Kong was the preferred destination for China’s outbound tourists, driven by its cultural similarity, lower travel costs and accessibility via short-distance travel. On top of this, Hong Kong offered a shopping paradise, and that was a strong motivating factor for Chinese tourists at that time. But since 2014, increasing numbers of China’s outbound tourists have been opting for other destinations that offer historical and cultural experiences, as well as shopping.
By the start of November 2015, the top five favourite destinations for Chinese travellers (counting air and overnight visits), were South Korea (representing a traveller increase of 112% since 2011), Thailand (up 263%), Hong Kong (up 37%), Japan (up 157%) and Taiwan (up 54%).
Europe remains the most popular destination for Chinese travelling outside Asia, showing an increase of 97% in the number of air and overnight visits in the last four years. This is followed by North America (up 151%) and the Middle East (up 177 %). Africa remains the destination least visited by Chinese tourists – but with signs that this could be changing, as visits have risen by 306% since 2011.
Laurens van den Oever, global head of travel and hospitality research at GfK said “China’s outbound tourists remain strategic to Hong Kong and its businesses but other destinations are jumping ahead in winning their favour. Destinations such as Hong Kong need to re-evaluate China’s new breed of young and independently-minded travellers, to understand how best to attract them and capitalize on the growth of China’s outbound tourism.”
According to GfK data, 50% of China’s outbound travellers are aged 15-29 years – the “millennials” group – while over a third (37%) are aged 30-44 and only 10% are 45-59.
The sheer size of the millennial group makes this a commercially attractive target audience for those destinations who are looking to draw in Chinese tourists. 66% of Chinese Millennials belong to the high income bracket.