Travel marketers everywhere are salivating over two major segments — Chinese and millennial tourists. Combine the two, and you’ve got the enormous Chinese millennial traveler market. Given its scope and spending power, this group is fueling the growth of global tourism.
Chinese Millennial Travelers, Where Next? is a new report from Jing Travel, done in conjunction with Carat and AMNET. It provides some clues as to what influences Chinese millennials to travel and their process of planning adventures. Through the Shanghai Data Exchange, the study was able to track eight and a half million Chinese millennials as the group navigated travel-related websites and travel apps.
The study breaks Chinese millennial travelers into three categories. The adventurous influencer is the smallest subset, but the most influential of the triad. This group is highly active on social media, and, as early adopters, many are opinion leaders. They’re interested in culture, food, art, music, and outdoor activities. They spend more than any other group on leisure travel, about 23 percent higher than the norm.
On the other side of the scale sit the culturally curious. The largest group of the three, its constituents are looking for cultural enrichment, interaction with locals, and experiences in nature. Followers of fashion prioritize quality wherever they travel. The atmosphere of a destination is important, as is its status. Followers of fashion are more likely to travel to pursue trends and they are more driven than their peers by a desire to relax.
Add up all three categories and you have a varied set of travelers. In the first quarter of this year, outbound travel among Chinese millennial travelers increased 36 percent year-over-year with 62 million outbound visits, according to the China National Tourism Administration.
In order to understand their travel decision-making process, it’s important to follow their digital footprint. Chinese millennials get their information online, with 95 percent of them connecting via mobile devices to services like WeChat, QQ, and Weibo. The report also notes the impact key opinion leaders and celebrities have in influencing travel choices and overcoming hurdles like perceived safety issues.
The road map of the Chinese millennial decision-making process starts with interest triggered by influencers and vertical communities. Next comes inspiration, the point at which they browse for user-generated images and information while studying knowledge-sharing apps.
The study holds a couple other interesting insights. Ticket price is an important factor among Chinese millennials when choosing where to go, so offering discounted airfares is a good way to entice them to a destination. Southeast Asia and Japan are the largest outbound markets for Chinese millennials. In the first half of 2017, the fastest-growing outbound markets were Russia, Denmark, and Sweden.