Customised Travel: the New Form of Outbound Tourism for Chinese Travellers

According to Ctrip, 2017 marked the beginning of popularisation of customised travel in China. Chinese travellers are more willing to spend money on gaining unique local experiences and have greater demands and higher taste for more refined, self-coordinated and individualised tours.

On April 16, 2018, the first report on Chinese visitors to Europe’s customised travel patterns were jointly released by Ctrip’s Customised Travel and China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) during a summit in Budapest, Hungary.

Customised travel is becoming a new form of outbound tourism for Chinese travellers especially given the large number of middle to high-end customers and increase in spending power. Since the launch in January 2016, Ctrip Customised Travel has seen increased user demand up to 120,000 per month.
The report, entitled “Customised Travels of Chinese Visitors to Europe”, indicates that Chinese customised travel market in 2017 is universal, young and growing fast. 40% of customised travel is for outbound travel plans, among which Europe accounts for 10%.”

From Ctrip’s travel data, 2017 saw more than 6 million Chinese making their f irst entry to Europe. 9.3% of Chinese travellers chose Europe as their outbound destination, making it the second most popular continent for Chinese travellers. Females travel more than males and 23% of total outbound tourists to Europe are aged 50 and over.

The top 5 European countries for customised travel are UK, Italy, France, Russia and Greece. On average, customised trips to Europe last around 12 days with tours not exceeding two countries. Individuals spend 2500 RMB per person per day and despite having most trips taking place from May to July, winter seasons such as January and February also see many visits to Scandinavian countries. Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are the top three departure cities for customised travel.