Chinese tourists demand more individualized tours: report
By Yu Yang
People's Daily app


Budapest (People's Daily) - Chinese travelers are more willing to spend money on gaining unique local experiences and have greater demands and higher taste for more refined, self-coordinated and individualized tours, according to a report released on Monday during the first Business Summit of Ctrip Customized Travel in Budapest.

Released by Ctrip and China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI), the joint report “Customized Travel of Chinese Visitors to Europe” details the growth of demand for customized personal tours to Europe in 2017. The report indicates that the Chinese customized travel market in 2017 is universal, young and growing fast. 

Some 40% of customized travel is for outbound travel plans, among which Europe accounts for 10%. With a year-on-year growth of 130%, Europe is seeing increasing Chinese travelers opting for such unique, personalized and thematic travel experiences designed by an agent or travel company. 

Apart from being unique, main demands for trips are those that are in-depth, slow paced, private, niche and focused on leisure. From Ctrip's travel data, 2017 saw more than 6 million Chinese making their first entry to Europe. 

Some 9.3% of Chinese travelers chose Europe as their outbound destination, making it the second most popular continent for Chinese travelers. Females travel more than males and 23% of total outbound tourists to Europe are aged 50 and over. Considering their profile, meeting their growing needs presents an opportunity for Ctrip and its travel partners. 

According to the report, the top 5  European destinations for customized travel are the UK, Italy, France, Russia and Greece. On average, customized trips to Europe last around 12 days with tours not exceeding two countries. 

Individuals spend 2,500 rmb per person per day and despite having most trips taking place from May to July, winter seasons such as January and February also see many visits to Scandinavian countries.

Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are the top three departure cities for customized travel. While they comprise of 50% of customized travel, second-tier cities such as Harbin, Wuhan, Fuzhou, Nanjing and Hangzhou are part of the fastest-growing cities with year-on-year growth exceeding 100%. 

Personalized demands and themes from gastronomy to wedding photography to study tours to honeymoons to specific sporting interests and activities could be fulfilled through Ctrip’s vast resources and selections. Accommodation could also be personalized whether it is the glass igloos in Santa Claus Village or castle stays or homestays. The sheer size of Europe provides a great variety of options for Chinese tourists. 

"China's travel market is booming which offers a new business model and opportunities for products and services in customized travel,” said Wolfgang Georg Arlt, the director of COTRI.

CEO of Customized Travel Kane Xu said China's tourism industry has already entered an era of Travel 3.0, meaning that customization and personalized travel services are preferred.