China / Society

Less shopping, better behavior for Chinese tourists abroad

(CRI) Updated: 2014-10-20 10:58

A new survey is out, which asked overseas Chinese travelers about their reasons for travelling abroad during this past National Day holiday.

As CRI's Chloe Lyme tells us, the survey has found those asked were less interested in shopping, and more interested in experiencing folk culture in the countries they were travelling to.

The survey by China UnionPay, which facilitates bank card transactions for Chinese travelling overseas, shows that between October 1st and 7th, Chinese people traveling abroad spend over 50 percent more on food and hotels compared with last year.

During this year's National Day holiday, spending on shopping increased by around 30 percent.

Han Zhijuan, head of Athens-based Multipath Travel Services, says the figures suggest the spending patterns of overseas Chinese travelers is becoming more diversified.

"We have arranged travel programs with different themes. One program focuses on tasting wines, because Greece is a wine producer. Some Chinese come here to experience the unique golf courses. Some young couples choose Greece as the venue for their overseas wedding. Chinese travel habits are becoming more unique."

Overseas shopping, once a major focus for many Chinese travelers, appears to be losing momentum, as foreign products are now much more readily available in China.

Ge Lei is a promotion manager with China Youth Travel Service.

"Chinese travelers are becoming more rational. For one thing, foreign brands are now available in duty-free shops in China. So it is much easier for people to purchase foreign items at home. On top of this, tourists are more aware of what they really need and they don't follow others and buy many useless things abroad. Instead, they choose different products in the countries they travel to."

Apart from the changing purchasing habits, travel operators are suggesting Chinese travelers are becoming more sophisticated when travelling in foreign countries.

Han Zhijuan with Multipath Travel Services.

"During the travel peak during the Chinese New Year, the May Day holiday and the National Day holiday, we did not receive any complaints from Greek hotels, car rental outlets or airline companies. I believe Chinese tourists are getting familiar with conditions and atmosphere in foreign countries and, generally speaking, are behaving better."

The Chinese government has been actively pressing travel companies to educate overseas Chinese travelers about what cultural norms they will encounter when they travel to different countries.

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