Africa gains Chinese traveller attention

SHANGHAI, 20 March 2018:  More Chinese travellers are showing Interest in visiting Africa according to a forecast by Travelzoo.

Booking and search trends indicates largest popularity growth for travel to Africa this 2018 based on the company’s latest Travelzoo Travel Trends Survey*.

The survey shows a record high number of Chinese respondents, more than 60%, said they were planning so-called in-depth travel in 2018.

“In-depth travel” is a term used by travel websites in China to describe the type of trips that involve more unconventional journeys beyond the typical tourist experience.

For the very first time, Africa moved up to first place as the top in-depth travel destination that Chinese travellers hope to visit in 2018, dethroning the ever-popular Japan and Australia.

Among the destinations in Africa, Travelzoo’s identified Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Namibia, Madagascar and Tanzania.

Travelzoo holiday deal experts say the rapid growth in popularity in exotic destinations such as Morocco and Tunisia is largely due to the relaxation of visa requirements for Chinese nationals. Chinese passport holders have been granted visa-free access to visit Morocco since June 2016 and Tunisia since February 2017, and visa-on-arrival access to enter Tanzania and Egypt.

There was a 378% year-over-year growth in Chinese arrivals in Morocco and 240% in Tunisia during the six months after the easing of visa requirements, which pushed Morocco to first place and Tunisia third as the destinations that enjoyed the greatest growth in Chinese visitors (source: ForwardKeys, October 2017).

Furthermore, the survey showed a 25% increase in the number of Travelzoo members in China who plan to take five or more overseas holidays in 2018.

Travelzoo’s statistics show the click-through rates of Morocco deals have increased 20% since the visa-free Morocco access was announced.

“Travelzoo members like to explore the less-travelled destinations and have immersive local experiences,” comments, Travelzoo’s China associate publisher, Yoyo Huang. “These Travelzoo members become influencers for their friends and family when they seek travel suggestions. Now that the major visa restrictions were lifted, our members are definitely keen on Africa and their friends will follow.”

Beach holidays still top the activities Chinese travellers are interested in, followed by food and wine. Third place, however, was taken by historic attractions, rising from fifth spot last year.

Cruises climbed to seventh place from 10th and photography tours appeared in the top 10 the first time. Otherwise, shopping dropped out of the top 10 activities for the first time and sightseeing also fell from ninth spot to last.

“The days when Chinese tourists were entertained by merely sightseeing and shopping are long gone,” adds Huang, “the middle class in China are now seeking unforgettable experiences at their own pace when they travel.

“The destinations that offer rich culture and nature should expect many more Chinese visitors, so we’re confident in our prediction that 2018 will see Africa secure its place as the fastest-growing popular destination among avid Chinese travelers.”

Additionally, the survey revealed that the US, one of the top five destinations of all time for Chinese travellers, fell from the third place to fifth this year, while Japan and Australia remain number one and two. The UK retains the fourth spot, while no other western European country made it into the top 10 this year.

*The Travelzoo Travel Trends Survey was completed by 1,671 Travelzoo members in China who responded to an online questionnaire in January 2018.

Travelzoo provides our 28 million members insider deals and one-of-a-kind experiences personally reviewed by one of our deal experts worldwide.

(SOURCE: Travelzoo)