An increasing number of Chinese travelers are avoiding group tours and embracing independent travel, a new study has found. In its “China Unbounded: The Rapid Rise of China’s Outbound Millions” report, TripAdvisor found that China’s FIT market has grown dramatically, driven by a rising number of younger travelers. The study, which was conducted by Phocuswright and sponsored in part by TripAdvisor, surveyed more than 3,000 outbound Chinese travelers. In total, 120 million Chinese traveled overseas in 2015, spending $205.7 billion. Some key findings from the survey report results include the following:
—“More often than not,” TripAdvisor said, “China’s FITs are young, well-educated and relatively affluent”.
—Almost nine out of 10 (89 percent) Chinese FITs are aged 18-44.
—Two out of five (41 percent) fall into the 25-34 age bracket.
—More than three-quarters (77 percent) have an undergraduate degree or higher.
—44 percent earn a monthly income of approximately $2,300 or more.
—41 percent they can understand English.
—A larger share of Chinese FITs comes from first tier cities, with Guangdong province reporting the highest number, followed by Shanghai, Sichuan province, Beijing and Jiangsu province.
—On average, Chinese FITs have taken 5.5 international trips in their lifetime, higher than the overall Chinese average of 5.2.
—These travelers have a short travel planning cycle, with nearly one-third (32 percent) choosing their destination just one or two weeks prior to departure.
—Preferred destinations? Short-haul travel to neighboring countries continues to dominate outbound trips.
—More than 90 percent of Chinese FIT trips were to destinations in Greater China, North Asia and Southeast Asia, with Japan, Thailand and South Korea the top three countries.
—The USA, France and UK were the top long-haul destinations.
—Chinese FITs spend on average $2,729 per trip,
—29 percent spent $3,062 or more on their last overseas trip.
—Chinese FITs from bigger cities spent the most per trip, and the biggest spenders were found to be from Beijing ($4,047).
—Shopping (42 percent) is the most popular activity for travelers, especially on short-haul trips.