The Chinese Travel Market in 2015: A Breakdown for Tour Operators

The Chinese Travel Market in 2015: A Breakdown for Tour Operators

In 2014, Chinese travellers were probably the hottest topic and most wanted market segment – and they’re not going anywhere. In fact, more of them are set to travel in the year ahead. The trick is grabbing their attention and getting them to book with you.

Below we examine key trends from last year, predicted trends this year, and channels you can use to tap into this lucrative market.

Trends from last year

What are they interested in?

  • Health and wellness. Chinese travellers are more interested in health, so you should emphasise the health benefits of your tours in your marketing materials.
  • Eco-tourism. People living in metropolitan China are bothered by the pollution and congestion they experience in their hometowns. They want to be in a natural setting with fresh air.
  • Indulgences. Travellers from China enjoy spending money on food, souvenirs, and experiences. As long as you gain their trust (both digitally and on-site), they will be prepared to purchase.

Where do they like to travel?

Ctrip, China’s leading online travel agency, released the best destination rating for 2014 by Chinese travellers.

Key findings:

  • Hong Kong was most popular for outbound travel;
  • Dubai was the favourite luxury destination;
  • Bali was the highest rated island destination, followed by Phuket and Mauritius;
  • Sydney was voted best for long vacations;
  • Melbourne was voted best for road trips; and,
  • Seoul was voted best for shopping.

Countries around the world are already attempting to accommodate chinese travellers in a variety of ways, some of which are quite unique! Read our blog on it: 5 Interesting Strategies Being Used to Attract Chinese Travellers.

This year’s predictions

Skift listed the top Chinese travel trends to watch for in the coming year.

More travel beyond Asia

While a vast majority of Chinese travellers stayed in Asia last year, more flight routes and easier visas will entice experienced travellers to extend their reach. Tourism boards will continue to create niche promotions targeting Chinese travellers (eg. the recent Restaurant Australia campaign), and online travel agencies will look to capture the majority of these outbound bookings.

Strategic partnerships & purchases

The trend that started last year will continue – this year we will see a surge in strategic partnerships (eg. China Eastern & Qantas) as well as tourism related purchases by Chinese brands (eg. Ctrip bought a cruise ship from Royal Carribean).

Online distribution for the Chinese market

Using Chinese OTAs is the best way to gain access into the Chinese traveller market.


Tnooz reports that as of Q2 in 2014, Ctrip is still leading, followed by eLong and


Ctrip is the biggest OTA, with a market share more than 6 times the size of eLong.

Tour and activity operators who want to access the Chinese market can partner with Tours4Fun, an OTA owned by Ctrip. Rezdy’s booking system connects you to hundreds of online agents, including Tours4Fun. The connection is automatic, so that you eliminate the risk of overbooking, while reducing your admin time.

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To learn more about connecting to Tours4Fun via Rezdy, click here.

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