An interesting development in the Chinese market is, as Jing Travel has just pointed out— with all the focus during the past several years of the importance of the Millennial market and its impact on the way travel suppliers promote and sell to it—the tour and travel industry seems to have overlooked a very important factor within the market. That is: China’s citizens are growing older, and DMOs and suppliers would be wise to adapt to their travel needs and offer campaigns that appeal to them.
Just before the end of 2018, on December 28, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences released a health industry report on the numbers regarding older citizens, which prompted Lvmama—a family travel website—to make some points on travel consumption forecasts among China’s over-60 population. They include these:
—By 2020, the number of citizens over the age of 60 should reach about 255 million,
—By 2050, it will increase further, to 484 million by 2050.
—While retirees are expected to spend more money on healthcare than younger generations, they will still retain significant spending power that could be used for travel.
—Per capita consumption on travel for the Chinese over-60 population exceeds $525. (average spending statistics include domestic and international travel).
—The average trip length for the same group is five days.
—Those in first-tier cities spend more on travel, with Shanghai residents spending more than $730 per trip.
—Unlike younger Chinese, older Chinese travelers are more likely to join tour groups abroad: About 70 percent of customers over 60 booked such holidays in 2018.
—While older tourists traveled with younger family members, younger family members made 60 percent of bookings.
—Currently, older Chinese travelers prefer domestic trips, as they want to see more of their homeland and high-speed railways make it easier and more comfortable. But that trend isn’t as likely to last as more Chinese set to retire in the next decade have international travel experience and may have more disposable income. Overseas trips, though they mostly short-haul, increased 60 percent in 2018 among older travelers. Many of those trips were to short-haul destinations, such as Thailand, Japan, and Singapore.
Said Jing: “It is likely that as more Chinese retire and travel, Jing suggested, they will continue to join tour groups to make the experience easier. The questions then become: Where will they travel and what will they want to experience? And the answers will vary depending on their previous travel experience. But as these generations will increase spending on healthcare, medical tourism may be an important focus in the coming years.”