Chinese Youth Prefers Experiences Over Sights

Chinese Generation Z and Millennials travel in a very different way compared to their parents. The cliché of Chinese tourists who shoot up the Eiffel Tower before rushing back to their bus as fast as possible seems to be a thing of the past. According to a China Youth Daily survey of 2,000 Chinese youth born after 1980 and 1990, Millennials and Generation Z, the new generations of Chinese travelers say they want to take their time.

In detail, 60.7% of young people surveyed say they prefer an “in-depth trip” rather than a quick visit linking several known places. Only 30.7% are followers of the so-called “daka” travel, those tourist raids that consist of accumulating as many photos of monuments and famous places in a minimum of time in order to post them immediately afterward on social networks.

According to the Chinese consulting firm OC&C Strategy, Millennials and Generation Z are particularly inclined to book experiences, such as a dinner with locals, a hike in the mountains or a wine tasting session. Young Chinese people also devote a larger share of their budget to restaurants, tours, and accommodation.

This is a real break in the travel habits compared to the previous generations who travel in organized groups, prefer low-priced hotels and confine themselves to Chinese cuisine, even when abroad. Another figure reported by OC&C Strategy: 33% of young Chinese people plan their trips themselves on the Internet, 10% more than older generations.

Nearly 81% of Chinese youth nevertheless confide in knowing “a good number” of friends or relatives who are still engaged in “daka”. Young people explain the persistence of the “daka” for one main reason: the fact that the Chinese get very few days off and so want to make the most of them.

This trend among young travelers should not overshadow the fact that travelers 60+ of age now account for one-third of the Chinese population and stand out as the main market in terms of tourism consumption. Chinese seniors spend 15% of their annual income on travel.

However, one thing common to all generations: France, Italy, and Germany remain the European destinations that attract the most Chinese tourists.


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