Chinese Outbound Travel: Benefit with Your Hospitality Business

China Gravy

Chinese outbound travel has been fast recovering after the global Covid-pandemic halted public life. This holds ample opportunities for global hospitality businesses, whether accommodation, food and beverage, tour operators, and other tourism products and services.

From statistical developments of Chinese outbound travel to the specific travel needs of Chinese holidaymakers – this article has got you covered.

Let the team of hospitality experts at China Gravy give you an update on Chinese outbound travel trends, and lay out ways for your international hospitality brand to benefit from millions of Chinese travelers.

Chinese Outbound Travel after Covid

To begin with, it may not surprise you that China is already the second-largest outbound travel market in terms of tourism spending after the US.

The Chinese tourism and hospitality sector is flourishing domestically (particularly during key Chinese holidays), with preferences including ski trips, beach vacations, and “staycations”.

On the other hand, Chinese international travel is also on the rise, due to improved flight connections and passport processing protocols. Let’s take a closer look at these trends.

In terms of lifestyle and travel modes, young Chinese tourists are transforming from “visitor” to “experiencer” (e.g. spiritual travel, food travel). Secondly, outdoor activities (e.g. glamping) and art travel are booming (e.g. festivals, museums). Finally, organized Chinese tour groups are back and more popular than ever.

Latest China Travel Trend: Emerging Countries

Besides the way Chinese like to go about holidaymaking abroad, Chinese travelers are discovering new destinations for holidaymaking in lieu of former evergreen locations in Asia, Europe and the US. 

Outbound overnight arrivals from China

Overnight arrivals from China to global regions, China Gravy, China outbound travel

So, let’s take a look at these emerging countries that increasingly attract visitors from around the world, including Chinese travelers, with competitive prices, and reasonable health and safety standards.

Middle East

Chinese visits to this region are expected to exceed pre-pandemic volumes – in particular to the United Arab Emirates (Dubai). Flight capacity to UAE destinations and ease of travel restrictions for Chinese holiday makers (including visa free entry for short stays) foster this development. Further popular destinations in the Middle East for Chinese are Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt.


Fueled by the growing ties between China and Africa, this continent is also expected to see a full recovery of Chinese visitors in the coming years.

Leading tourist destinations in Africa include South Africa, Kenya and Tunisia. These countries have been intensively marketing to Chinese tourists.

Southeast Asia

Visa-free access for Chinese travelers to many Southeast Asian countries boosted regional tourism post-Covid. Chinese favorite destinations on the continent include Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Lift the Potential of Chinese Outbound Travel

Grow your international hospitality business (accommodation, food & beverage, tour operator, etc.) by teaming up with Chinese travel agencies and tourism experts.

  • Analyze global travel trends by Chinese tourists => optimize your business accordingly
  • Identify your USPs, tailored to Chinese => highlight these in your marketing strategy
  • Enter partnerships with Chinese travel agencies and tour operators => connect on WeChat and propose mutually beneficial business collaborations
  • Collaborate with influencers => identify and connect with KOLs and Wanghong to authentically represent your brand
  • Reach Chinese holidaymakers where they hang out digitally – WeChat, Douyin, RED, and Taobao for engagement, as well as Baidu for information/planning => create online profiles on Chinese social media and run ads
  • Provide localized information for your hospitality brand => make your website appeal to Chinese travelers and highlight USPs that cater to their needs
  • Meet Chinese travelers on their booking sites (Trip, Qunar, Tongcheng, Skyscanner, Meituan Travel, and Fliggy) => Consider creating a brand presence on these platforms

Boost your hospitality business from and to China through strategic partnerships, and sharpened services tailored to the unique needs of the Chinese market. 

Understanding the Needs of Chinese Travelers

When traveling abroad, Chinese holiday makers have special preferences, needs, and expectations that hospitality providers should consider to ensure a satisfying experience. Here are some specific things that Chinese travelers typically want and need when going overseas:

  1. Chinese Payment Methods: Accept Chinese everyday payment methods WeChat Pay and AliPay to ensure seamless transactions for Chinese tourists.
  2. Chinese Language: Providing information, signage, menus, and customer service in Mandarin Chinese for travelers with limited English proficiency. Also consider that the Chinese way of communicating generally is more indirect, formal and polite. Customer service expectations may be higher in terms of speed, responsiveness, friendliness, and customer focus.
  3. Culinary Experiences: While tourists often seek authentic local cuisine experiences, they also might also want to enjoy them with a Chinese touch or have Chinese options. Consider this for your food and beverage business when targeting Chinese travelers.
  4. Connectivity: Reliable internet/wifi access is particularly important for Chinese travelers to stay in touch with family and friends.
  5. Shopping and Souvenirs: Chinese tourists typically enjoy shopping for luxury goods, and duty-free items to bring back home as symbols of wealth, status, and generosity. Providing such opportunities, including a tax refund service, adds to the satisfaction of your Chinese customers.
  6. Discounts and Deals: The Chinese generally value a good promotion. Provide them with ample savings opportunities, and exclusive offers to fall in love with your brand. Make shopping easy for them, e.g. by offering delivery to their home destination.
  7. Comfortable Accommodation: Make Chinese guests feel at home with quality tea-making facilities, and familiar toiletry brands. A comfortable, elegant, and inviting space aligned with the Feng Shui principles, including materials and plants, brings additional value for tourists from the “Middle Kingdom”.
  8. Health and Safety: Due to a rise in scams in developing countries and Chinese tourists being held against their will, Chinese travelers are on high alert. Address their safety concerns and provide options for them to feel safe and at ease, e.g. offer a complimentary pick-up-service from the airport to your hotel.
  9. Personalized Services: Tailor your services to the unique interests and preferences of Chinese travelers, so they can create memorable and enjoyable travel experiences.

If you don’t know how to get started, or want to save time, energy, and money, a China specialist like China Gravy can help you with this!

The Takeaway – Chinese Outbound Travel

As domestic destinations in China are substituted and Chinese tourists re-engagement in international travel by Chinese tourists, emerging countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia gain popularity. Engage with Chinese holidaymakers for your overseas hospitality brand to boost your business: 

  • Identify your brand’s USP, and unique benefits for Chinese travelers
  • Localize your website, establish accounts on Chinese social apps and travel sites, collaborate with influencers, and consider ads on Chinese search engines
  • Cater to the distinct needs of Chinese tourists: payment apps, language, culture, connectivity, discounts, safety, personalization, and much more.

Do you want to reach Chinese holidaymakers, or connect with travel agencies and tour operators? Don’t worry! The experts at China Gravy are happy to help you get started with a FREE initial consultation to discuss the best strategy for your hospitality business.

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