Research Briefing | Feb 6, 2024

Will Chinese Traveller Behaviour Change?

Chinese outbound travel is well on the path to recovery. Domestic travel recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 and we expect growth to continue in line with continued consumer demand. The faster expected growth, and recovery to the established growth trend, for international outbound travel by Chinese travellers means that an understanding of attitudes, behaviour and spending activity is crucial for destinations.

What you will learn:

  • We anticipate that there will be a broad continuation of several pre-pandemic Chinese traveller behaviours such as high outbound spend, short average length of stay (ALOS) and preferences for luxury travel.
  • But there are some risks to this outlook and likely changes in behaviour. In the near-term, weak economic conditions in China and the recent focus on destination safety will pose a threat to the pace of growth and will influence destination choice.
  • Over the longer-run, newly emerging preferences for authentic experiences and wellbeing related travel pose challenges for destinations reliant on China as a key source market as well as new opportunities.
  • Beyond the near-term headwinds, we expect Chinese outbound travel to make up the largest portion of global outbound visits and spending between 2026 and 2033. As the Chinese middle class grows, there will be a larger appetite for travel. It is yet to be seen if this cohort will continue the observed pattern of Chinese outbound travel in the long run.
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