For the first decade (2008-2017) in the explosion of Chinese leisure travelers, the low-cost, high-volume stop-to-shop group bus tour was the norm, the standard. Then, as more Chinese began to visit the USA, groups began to lose share. And now, anxious about traveling in large groups as the COVID-19-driven global pandemic continues to stoke concern everywhere, the group option is a preference just one out of 10 Chinese travelers.
According to newly released report—the ITB China Travel Trends Report—on the results of a survey of Chinese travel professionals, health and safety are key concerns that are having an impact on the travel intentions of Chinese travelers as a “new normal” settles upon the Chinese travel market.
As analyzed by China Travel News, the report, based on a survey of 200 outbound travel agencies and companies, indicated that the prevention and control of the COVID-19-driven pandemic at destinations are considered most important to Chinese travelers, and that sanitary measures in force will also become key concerns, as will stable flight schedules.
Self-driving tours, FITs experiencing popularity: Self-driving tours, Free Independent Travel (FIT) and customized tours are being driven by the new situation to avoid places with crowds and large travel groups. “After the outbreak, travelers may prefer outbound products focusing on safety, health and wellbeing, while the demand for natural landscape and customized travel will also increase,” said He Yong, president of HCG Travel Group.
Travel intentions, themes and preferences for 2021: According to the survey results, island, outdoor, natural landscape, family and medical tours are expected to be the most popular themes in the coming year.
Restoring the Market: How should we go about the process of quickly restoring the Chinese travel market? The 200 respondents from Chinese outbound travel agencies and travel-related companies who participated in the ITB China Travel Trends Report survey, offered opinions and suggestions, such as “sustain and improve awareness and popularity of destinations,” “align and upgrade travel products focusing on safety and health,” “communicate with Chinese partners to keep aware of changes in the Chinese market,” “set up flexible operation process and quick response mechanism,” and “engage in pre-sale activities of travel products.“