Chinese millennials reshape travel

BANGKOK, 17 August 14, 2018: Chinese millennials increased their travel expenditure in the past year by a staggering 80% according to recent research from

Keen to enjoy authentic travel experiences, Chinese travellers are spending more on local food delicacies (69%) and shopping for authentic local items (43%) shopping for luxury goods (38%).

The key influencers are pop-culture, film and television stars (62%). They provide the main sources of inspiration for Chinese millennial travellers. It pushes them away from Asian destinations to experience long-haul destinations mainly in Europe.

While Asia continues to be a popular destination, with 49% planning to travel to Asian destinations during the next 12 months, destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East are catching the attention of more than half of travellers when they are planning future travel.

Despite recent accidents and its poor safety record on roads and sea Chinese travellers still feel welcomed in Thailand.

It was the second choice after Japan that was the most popular destination for Chinese last year.

Thailand gains points for its widespread acceptance of Chinese mobile wallets (64%), sufficient translations and signage (41%), and ease of information (40%).

The new generation of Chinese travellers’ needs and preferences are changing fast according to

Tour group travel is losing traction and considered old-fashioned. More Chinese travellers are enjoying independent travel in Thailand, where they are more likely to travel on a free-and-easy basis.

The incentives are its street food and local delicacies, ease of visa applications, quality of accommodation, and top rated shopping.

Local crafts and products top the shopping list (56%) as well as the variety of places to visit.

Understanding the changing needs of new generation Chinese travellers and their travel trends that will benefit Thailand tourism industry

According to, new locations are on the agenda for Chinese travellers.  While more than one third (37%) of travellers still intend to visit countries they have been to before, they growing demand to explore new destinations.  Apart from Thailand the top destinations in Asia to explore are Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

Thailand’s challenge is to renew and refresh as it was one of the first countries on China’s travel list when the country opened outbound travel.

The key to renew travel interest is to build more authentic experiences – tasting exotic local delicacies (69%) and scouring the streets for authentic local items (43%) over shopping for brands (38%).

Travel brag moments and selfies were a huge part of the Chinese millennial travel experiences in 2017, with 65% using the reverse camera angle to boost those likes and build their social brand. More than half (56%) of travellers said they used selfies to express feelings. Social media (52%) and video sharing (51%) are also important to all age groups when deciding where to travel.

Top 10 destinations where Chinese travelers feel most welcome:

1 Japan 20% 2
2 Thailand 16% 1
2 Hong Kong 16% 4
4 Korea 12% 6
5 Australia 11% 3
6 Macau 9% N/A
7 USA 8% 5
8 Singapore 6% 9
8 Canada 6% 10
10 New Zealand 5% N/A

Top 10 destinations visited by Chinese travelers in the past 12 months:

1 Japan 39% 2
2 Hong Kong 37% 1
3 USA 30% 3
4 France 21% 6
5 Australia 20% 8
6 Macau 19% 7
7 Korea 16% 5
8 Thailand 15% 3
9 Singapore 13% 9
10 Germany 11% 10

Top 10 destinations Chinese travelers are excited to visit for the first time in the next 12 months:

1 Australia 19% +3%
2 Canada 18% +2%
3 France 14% -4%
3 New Zealand 14% +4%
5 USA 12% -6%
6 Maldives 10% -1%
7 Germany 9% -3%
7 Singapore 9% -1%
7 Japan 9% – 1%
10 Korea 8% +1%



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