3.7 Million Chinese tourists landed on Thai ground in January this year. That’s around 4.8% more than last year. ThaiVisa acknowledged this significant increase and was wondering what the implications of this were, so here are 5 things you should know about Chinese tourism:
1. Shopping: This one has to do with the fact that Chinese people are always looking out for the best deals out there. In China, cosmetic products for example are usually more expensive than in the rest of the world and since the average Chinese tourist is considered to be a middle-class spender, Thailand is a great destination for those people who are always looking for bargain.
2. Behaving in public: Speaking too loudly in public is one of the most popular stereotypes about Chinese people on holiday. Especially young Chinese are becoming more and more aware of this and are now starting to show a different behavior while being on vacation, nevertheless the older generation is still sticking to the old habits.
3. Economic boom: We have all heard before how China’s economy has been growing fast these last years. This also had an impact on the number of tourists coming from China to Thailand. In fact, the growth rate of tourists spending their vacation in Thailand is almost equivalent to the economic growth rate of the country.
4. Passport Ownership: The percentage of Chinese citizens that actually hold a passport is very low, but we should consider here the massive population of this huge Country. Less than 10% of Chinese people possess a Passport, this makes it a total of around 135 Million people (and counting) able to travel to Thailand and other parts of the world.
5. New Technology instead of travel agencies: Forget about the groups of Chinese tourists wondering around the city and following a guide holding a flag. The future of Chinese tourism looks very different than that. The new generation prefers organizing trips independently on the internet. The most used platforms for that are Ctrip, eLong.com and Mangocity.com, according to a latest China online travel booking report by iResearch.
With the demographic and economic growth along with the switch to digital travel planning, comes a different style of spending vacations abroad. As Forbes Magazine wrote, there are five main categories of Chinese travelers at the moment one of them being the sporty/adventurous traveler, the solo female traveler or female friends travelers, as well as the multigenerational groups and travelers looking for a unique culinary experience in an another country, not forgetting the typical business traveler.
Other than the fact that the modern Chinese traveler no longer fits in with the traditional clichés about him, the Thai economy also benefits from the revenues that the Chinese tourism generates and this even more than it does from westerners, something sited by Thai hoteliers.
This article was written by Sara Mellouk. Sara is an intern at ThaiVisa-The Nation in Thailand, coming from Morocco, currently doing her Bachelor’s Degree in Germany in Economics and Media science.