What Chinese travellers want

Exclusive report released at ITB China gives new insight to market

What do Chinese travellers need and demand in the fields of island, adventure, sports, and culture travel? Details of the ITB China 2019 Travel Trends Report, compiled by Kairos Future, will be revealed tomorrow at 10am at the presentation hub. We asked Andreas Reibring, Head of Research, Kairos Future (China) to tell us what we can expect from the report.

The ITB China Travel Trends Report is a collaboration between ITB China, the Buyers Circle, and Kairos Future, in which we study the key trend of trip customisation and themed travel, with a focus on four of the hottest travel themes: island travel, adventure travel, sports travel, and culture travel. ITB China has a very extensive network of key Chinese travel businesses, not least through the Buyers Circle, which is a fantastic source of knowledge about the Chinese travel market. Each of these businesses already has a good understanding of the market they are operating in – the report is a way of integrating all of this knowledge and distilling key insights.

A SURVEY AMONG MORE THAN 300 CHINESE TRAVEL AGENCIES WAS USED TO INTEGRATE THE PERSPECTIVES OF A BROADER RANGE OF MARKET PLAYERS

How did you obtain your data?

The report is primarily built on insights sourced through ITB China Buyers Circle, complemented with analysis of public online data. Interviews were conducted with senior experts from leading Chinese travel companies, who shared their insights and elaborated on what the demand from the Chinese market looks like. A survey among more than 300 Chinese travel agencies was used to integrate the perspectives of a broader range of market players. On top of that, we looked at online search interest in specific topics and analysed what is written in social media related to the travel themes in focus of the report.

Who should come to your presentation on the 16th?

Everyone who wants to take part of the combined market knowledge of China’s leading travel businesses on the trends of trip customisation and themed travel. Everyone who is targeting the Chinese market and needs to understand what is important to the Chinese traveller in 2019. Without giving too much away before your talk, what are some of the things we will learn? Examples include what kinds of experiences travellers are looking for in each of the four theme categories and the expected growth rate of the theme categories. We will also take a look at some unexpected needs of Chinese adventure travellers as well as what customised travel has to do with entrepreneurship.

How important will the Chinese outbound tourist market become for the global industry, and what factors will be key in getting the lion’s share in the future?

The Chinese outbound market is becoming a key driving force of the global travel market. It is also rapidly transforming, with new trends appearing that can seem to come from nowhere. In reality, however, the evolving travel preferences are manifestations of deeper changes in Chinese society. To stay one step ahead as a tourism business or destination, you need to take a broader look at shifts in values and lifestyle in order to understand and prepare yourself for the directions in which the demand is heading.

Why is ITB China important in this respect?

ITB China is not only the place to be to expose your fantastic destination or travel products to this key market – ITB also brings a lot of knowledge from within the Chinese travel industry together The Travel Trends Report is one example of this.


Kairos Future is an international insight and foresight consultancy based in Stockholm and Shanghai. Travel and tourism is one of their core business areas, with a special focus on the outbound Chinese travel market. They typically combine a range of methods to extract insights for their clients. Apart from traditional research methods such as surveys and expert interviews, these include data mining of company information to map the evolving Chinese industry ecosystems, of patents to understand innovation in China, or whichever source is most relevant for the topic in focus.
Their latest concept is the Future Lab, a space where organisations can bring their teams and their data to find solutions for their business challenges using Kairos Future’s processes and proprietary analytics technology.


Photo: Andreas Reibring, Head of Research, Kairos Future (China)