All over the world, tourism operators are scrambling to attract Chinese travelers – and when you look at the numbers, you understand why:

  • 174 million Chinese tourists are set to spend USD $264 billion by 2019 (Source).
  • USD $109 million was spent by 164 million Chinese tourists in 2014 (Source).
  • On average, excluding accommodation, Chinese tourists spend USD $1,086 per day.

Let’s take a closer look at the key trends surrounding the spending habits of Chinese travelers.

Spend by destination

Research shows that the Chinese tourist’s most popular destinations are New Zealand, United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Italy, Thailand, United Kingdom, France, and South Korea.

New Zealand is a favourite because of its natural beauty. Chinese tourists spend NZD $4,100 on average per visit.

In the United States, it’s the luxury shopping and box office culture that attracts this lucrative segment. In fact, California Trade and Tourism reports that Chinese tourists spend USD $6,000 per visit.

Canada is at the top of the list for the same reasons as New Zealand – it offers a scenic outdoor escape from urban China. Back in 2012, Chinese travellers injected $486 million in Canada’s tourism economy.

Australia is another favoured tourist desination. According to IBISWorld, the unique landscape and seaside resorts are a major draw for Chinese visitors, who spend an average of AUD $7,418 per Aussie trip.

Chinese travelers head to Singapore mainly for leisure, but also for exhibition planning and medical tourism. Singapore is particularly appealing because of its high end gambling and monster theme parks. In the first half of 2013, Chinese travelers spent almost USD $1.20 billion – overtaking Indonesian visitors (who had been the biggest spenders since 2007).

Italy‘s rich culture in terms of history, arts, food, wine, and luxury shopping is what attracts the Chinese tourist, who spends on average EUR 900, mainly on luxury goods.

In Thailand, Chinese tourists spend on average US $160 dollars every day. They visit the country for adventure sports, luxury accommodation, and designer-shopping.

The United Kingdom is seen as a sophisticated destination which offers royal culture, fine dining, and an elegant lifestyle. Tourists spend on average £650 a day in the UK.

France is a popular destination because of its romance and luxury brands. In 2013, Chinese tourists spent USD $8,000 on average per trip.

South Korea is known for its skincare brands and popular soap operas. A survey conducted by a Seoul-based travel agency reports that Chinese tourists on a VIP package to South Korea spent over USD $44,840 – making them the biggest foreign consumer group in South Korea.

Tourist profiles

The UNWTO’s 2014 Global Report on Shopping Tourism identified three key types of Chinese travelers.


  • The largest segment of Chinese travelers
  • Travel in groups
  • Icons and brands are relevant
  • Shop for cheap luxury items to bring back as gifts

Tour operators should have Chinese-speaking tour guides, add Chinese food options to their meals, and make sure sightseeing to a bunch of stops is a part of their tour itinerary.


  • Niche segment of wealthy travelers
  • Mostly students
  • Scenery is less important than being fashionable and stylish
  • Travel is means to purchase luxury goods
  • Choice of destination depends on shopping facilities

Tour operators should have a high-end private tour option which focuses on VIP service.

Wenyi tribe

  • Young professionals
  • Pursuit freedom, quality of life, unique experiences, self realisation
  • Value culture
  • Shop for products that tell a story

Tour operators should focus on allowing these travelers to authentically experience the local culture, in areas outside of the city centre. 

Tapping into the Chinese market

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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