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Fewer Chinese Tourists Visit Europe

News Last year, the international travel was growing at a fast pace, and China was one of the biggest reasons for that with a fantastic increase of 13%. The country has only improved its position as one of the most important source markets for international travel. However, significantly fewer Chinese visited Europe, one of the most popular destinations, in 2016.

The recent study by IPK International and ITB Berlin shows that Chinese change their traveling habits and now prefer to visit more Asian/Pacific destinations, being less interested in Europe. The outbound tourism growth rate for Asia Pacific region estimated almost 9% in 2016. In total, the Chinese made as many as 51.2 million international trips last year if not count such destinations as Hong Kong and Macau. That is 13% or six million visits more than in 2015. The country only strengthened its position of the fourth biggest source market for international travel in the world, with only Germany, the USA, and the UK ahead. France occupies the fifth place, and the distance between it and China is growing.

Currently, as many as three out of four international trips from China are to the region’s countries, such as Thailand and South Korea. The USA is the sixth popular destination for travelers from the country. In total, the Chinese made 2.8 million trips to the United States last year. The list of the most popular European destinations is the following – Germany, France, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. Europe was always a popular tourist choice among Chinese, and the demand was growing for seven consecutive years. However, in 2016 the number of Chinese trips to Europe declined by 4%. Out of all Chinese tourists who made trips abroad, only 16% chose Europe last year.

The holiday/business trips ratio in China is also different from the global average. More than 80% of all Chinese travelers who travel abroad are on holiday. The global average is only 57%. At the same time, international business trips are not yet widespread – their share was just 15% last year. However, this segment added 22% compared to 2015, while the holiday segment grew by 11% only. The average length of an international trip is 6 nights.

The Chinese also have somewhat different traveling habits. More than 52% travelers choose to stay at 4- and 5-star hotels, while the global average is only 39%. Chinese travelers also prefer airplanes – more than 80% select this means of transport. The global average is almost 60%. Finally, nearly a half of Chinese choose to make bookings through a travel agency, and that is significantly higher than the worldwide ratio of 30%.


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