Skift Take

The biggest takeaway is that travel in China is by and large domestic with only the wealthy 5% of Chinese able to afford travel to places like Europe or the U.S., and these charts outline some of that.

China’s slowing economy has travel brands around the world wondering whether they will suffer from a lack of Chinese tourism dollars not flowing through their own communities.

The verdict’s still out on this one, though analysts at the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) tell Skift it likely won’t have a dramatic impact on Chinese travel. For the most part, only the very wealthy or elite in China have money to travel to the U.S. and Europe meaning most of China’s 1.4 billion citizens travel within their own country. They flock to places like Hong Kong and Macau where they don’t need a passport or visa or visit nearby Japan, Singapore, or Malaysia if they’re looking for a more affordable international getaway.

The following charts, furnished by COTRI, reveal the state of outbound Chinese travel and lay out where these travelers go and how they spend.

Chart 1: Chinese travel is overwhelming concentrated in Asia, and mainly in China at that. Most Chinese travelers are strictly domestic travelers as 95% of Chinese citizens don’t possess passports.

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Source: COTRI

Chart 2: Leisure travel accounted for the largest percentage of outbound Chinese travel last year, with business travel only at 6.2%.

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Source: COTRI

Chart 3: When it comes to what outbound Chinese travelers spend on, shopping takes the cake. This is in-line with previous reports that found Chinese travelers will spend more on shopping than they will on their accommodations.

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Source: COTRI

Chart 4: When they’re shopping, outbound Chinese travelers prefer duty-free shops.

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Source: COTRI

Chart 5: More than half of outbound Chinese travelers last year used Ctrip to book their travel.

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Source: COTRI

Chart 6: More than half of outbound Chinese travelers travel with their partners and children.

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Source: COTRI

Chart 7: Last year trips lasting one to two days were the largest percentage of time outbound Chinese travelers spent on travel outside their country.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 12.57.24 PM

Source: COTRI


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Tags: china outbound, skiftstats

Photo credit: Chinese tourists tote merchandise as they shop at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon, California. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times/MCT

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