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Study reveals shifts in overseas travel trends

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-15 07:04

The Oliver Wyman report shows that overall shopping fell to the third spot on a list of reasons to travel overseas in 2016, down from the second spot in 2015. The top two reasons were sightseeing and leisure.

Despite the new development, Chinese travelers will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the market, given the growing number of outbound travelers, presenting opportunities for consumer brands, retailers and service industries, the report noted.

In contrast with shoppers flocking to department stores before, Chinese travelers currently are growing much cooler in their consumption, industry insiders said.

They are becoming more independent. In shopping, for instance, more than 60 percent of Chinese travelers plan ahead, relying on word of mouth, brands' official websites, Chinese e-commerce portals and travel forums.

And they are becoming increasingly likely to plan their trips themselves, rather than follow itineraries planned by travel firms.

As a result, Chinese tourists reported a marked rise in spending on hotels, dining and sightseeing during their overseas travels, said Chen Yu, an executive at Bank of China's banking card center.

They have a growing demand for recreation and local culinary and cultural experiences, Chen noted.

As the archetypal Chinese traveler disappears, businesses need to adapt, which means understanding the subtleties and diversity of tourists' preferences and motivations, the report said.

"Businesses globally have to adjust their strategy to think about how to capture the new Chinese tourist's dollar," Oliver Wyman's Shanghai-based partner, Hunter Williams, told Bloomberg. "It's less about the outlet mall now and more about the national park."


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