Tourism from China to the United States is expected to from just about 2 Million visitors in 2013 to over 4 Million by 2018.

5 facts you should know about Chinese travelers for 2015

China has already been known as a rising economic powerhouse for the past couple of decades. But what makes China so special in the travel field? Even if your business or destination hasn’t directly felt the impact of Chinese tourism, these trends do have effects worldwide.

China is the World’s largest outbound tourism market

In 2014 114 Million international travel arrivals came from China to destinations all over the World. Compare this number to fewer than 30 Million international travel arrivals worldwide by Chinese just ten years prior. With rising incomes, more and more Chinese are able to afford the “luxury” of traveling abroad.

Chinese travelers are the World’s biggest spenders

All of those international arrivals must mean big spending. In fact, travelers from China spent a whopping estimated $140 Billion overseas in 2014. While on average, international travelers in the US spend approximately $4,500 per traveler per trip, Chinese spend substantially more; between an estimated $6,000 to $7,500 per traveler per trip.

Chinese love shopping

When overseas, shopping is a key activity, right up there with sightseeing and dining. And it’s no wonder. Chinese shoppers have already become the number one consumer of luxury goods Worldwide, with a particular emphasis on cosmetics and fashions such as leather goods, jewelry and watches. Chinese travelers continue to seek these products abroad, not only for themselves, but for friends, family members and colleagues back at home. Travelers are looking for travel experiences that match the level of luxury and sophistication of the goods they purchase.

The 10-year US Visa

Up until late 2014, the primary barrier for Chinese travelers coming to the US has been getting a travel visa. The US has maintained a complex scheme which involves time, money and effort on part of visa applicants to get a travel visa to the US. Given that many Asian, European and Oceana countries have far more relaxed visa requirements, these countries have enjoyed strong tourism growth in recent years. That is beginning to change, when in late 2014 President Obama announced a new 10-year tourism visa will be issued to all Chinese tourists. This visa has a validity of 10 years and allows for unlimited multiple-entries to the US. Travel bureaus and destinations are anticipating an increased number of repeat visits, now that travel to the US will be significantly easier than before.

Rise of the Free and Independent Traveler

China’s exploding growth in tourism is bringing about change in the types of travel Chinese are likely to engage in. Members of the pre-70’s generation had up until just the past 15 years very little to no exposure to travel overseas. This generation has mostly relied upon organized group travel and tour packages that include all activities, such as sight-seeing, shopping, transportation, meals and hotel. Younger generations, particularly those born in the 80’s and 90’s have comparatively more exposure to overseas experiences. These travelers tend to favor more independent travel, by making their own arrangements often at the last minute. As this generation builds more experience traveling, there will be increased opportunities for destinations to be “discovered” by a whole new wave of travel.

Chinese travelers are a key driving force in the growth of the travel industry Worldwide. These trends underlie what will eventually impact almost all aspects of travel in the United States. It remains incumbent upon travel marketers and destinations to anticipate these trends and be proactive in marketing to the Chinese traveler. Opportunities exist to become discovered, favored and shared among Chinese overseas travelers. Stay tuned for more info and insights from CNify. We’d love to hear your questions and feedback. Please do not hesitate to respond by following the link below.