An Overview of China Outbound Tourism Industry – What’s Your Game Plan for 2020?

Are you in the travel and hospitality industries? You may want to stop for a while and read further. 

Whether you’re running a boutique villa on a remote island or a hotel chain in the metropolis, this is for you. China’s outbound tourism is opening more doors for companies worldwide.

According to a report, the China outbound tourism market is expected to reach US$ 365 billion by 2025. As disposable income increases every year, Chinese consumers tend to spend more. Guess where? In traveling and luxury trips overseas. 

China Outbound Tourism: Below are some of the things noteworthy to watch out for 2020 and beyond.

#1 Affluent and middle-class consumers drive growth

Watch out for the affluent Chinese whose spending power will shape overseas trips. It’s expected these trips will increase to 400 million by 2030, Agility Research said. The increase in the disposable income of middle-class consumers affects their demands. 

The middle-class consumers are also well-educated and receive competitive salaries. According to CIW, traveling and health and fitness are two of the most popular activities they want to do. 

CIW said that, on average, the new middle-class traveler has gone to five private person trips in the past two years. Meanwhile, affluent Chinese tourists aren’t traveling to shop for luxury goods. They want to explore unique destinations and experience the food and culture. 

#2 Digitizing content on WeChat to meet the tourists’ demands

The next thing you need to watch out is WeChat. WeChat launched a collaborative project to upgrade the digital experience of travelers. By working with tourism authorities worldwide, it will meet the demands of tourists. And to help the participants offer a variety of unique travel experiences.

Welcome with WeChat Alliance aims to digitize the content and services. Aside from the content, the project itself will also offer training to participants. They will learn best practices and innovative financial solutions. As you know, Chinese tourists use WeChat in day-to-day transactions and activities. 

What’s in it for you? You would have to explore WeChat features to help you decide how to offer unparalleled hospitality experience to your guests. As of this writing, the monthly active users have reached 1.15 billion (September 2019). 

china outbound tourism
Happy travel woman in Paris with Eiffel Tower and she show thumb up, asian beauty

#3 Online-to-offline experience to drive retail sales in airports

Another thing that you have to watch out and is becoming a trend among tourists is O2O. The online-to-offline model isn’t just for in the retail and e-commerce sectors. What luxury brands should need to know is how to capitalize on airport experiences. 

International airports have become a sweet spot in luxury retail. Shopping for luxury items, whether for personal consumption or as “Daigou,” means you should think of ways to keep the tourists in the loop while waiting in the airport. 

Brands that have retail stores and duty-free companies should think this further. What are should you look for when setting up your retail store at the airport? How can you integrate offline and online experience? 

The Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was one of the early adopters of the O2O experience. It’s the first airport to partner with WeChat becoming the WeChatPay’s first “flagship smart airport” in Europe.

The flagship has the Official Account, Mini-Program, and WeChat Pay in Store. The features allow tourists to access information, shop online in-app, pay, and order goods via WeChatPay. The experience itself provides convenience and efficiency. From forex rates to promos and deals at the airport, the tourists can access everything through the app. 

In summary, it’s up to you how you can integrate the O2O experience, whether in-stores or online. WeChat will always be the king of social media as of this writing. You’d have to map out a plan for 2020 that will help you grow your business 10x more.