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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

The Next Generation of Chinese Travelers

Chinese Millennials are categorized as those who were born between 1981 and 2000. Most have received some sort of higher education, are internationally minded, have money to spend, and are on social media.

Millennial travelers are redefining and rapidly changing the travel industry. There are approximately 300 million Chinese Millennials, making up 22% of the Chinese population and traveling around four times a year. They are straying away from the predictable ways of their baby boomer parents and creating their own adventures. Millennials are about to take the tourism industry by storm, so it’s important that no one gets lost in the transition.

London is so overrated

While London is the most visited travel destination in 2015, you won’t find any Millennials there. Just kidding, you will, but while the older generation would normally book tours to visit Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, Millennials would want to do London the way the locals do – relaxing at local cafes, dining in quaint restaurants. Chinese Millennials are also looking for more exotic places to travel because they want to learn about and experience a new culture – perhaps through taking a local cooking class or visiting a nearby village. They want to be able to show their friends back home that they are cultured, worldly, and immune to typical tourist traps.

Just give me a futon and free Wi-Fi

Millennials are trading in luxury hotels for budget-friendly accommodations. Sites like AirBnB and Couchsurfing are receiving a lot of traffic as many Millennials are hoping to kill two birds with one stone by saving money and living like a local. These places usually offer free Wi-Fi as Millennials are tech savvy and like to be plugged in, as the best way to attract any Millennial is through their social devices.

What’s the best place to get…?

Millennials depend on word of mouth recommendations. They rely on their friends or trusted KOLs for the must-go places. Therefore, having a social media presence and providing good service is important to better connect with existing and potential customers.

Niche is chic

Chinese tourists, in general, are a profitable market. They are predicted to spend $264 billion by 2019, about a 61% increase in spending from 2014. However, Millennials are turning away from classic luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, and purchasing niche or lesser-known brands. While traveling, Millennials like visiting boutiques and purchasing local items.

Pics or it didn’t happen

Perhaps the most defining quality of this generation is their affinity to cell phones and social media. Approximately 91% of Chinese travelers use social media while traveling. Millennials are social creatures and love to share their daily lives with their network. They’ll post about anything – the meal they’re about to consume, the purse they just bought, or the service they received when checking into their hotel. Any of these touch points can influence their experience. Their networks are vast and one post is all it takes to determine the fate of your company amongst Chinese netizens.

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