Whereas domestic travel, particularly for educational purposes, has a long tradition in China, travelling abroad is a relatively new phenomenon. Yet in 2010 alone an estimated 3.8 million Chinese travelled to Europe, and it is assumed that this figure will quadruple by 2020.
A trend analysis, which has been prepared as part of a cooperation between Z_punkt and the TUI Think Tank, analyses the growth market relating to "Chinese tourists in Europe" and determines the development potential.
"The revealed trends of Chinese travellers needs highlight how important it is to come to terms with these at an early stage and provide differentiated travel offers as well as suitably modified ways of thinking and forms of communication," according to Mario Habig, head of the Group Strategy and Development division at TUI AG and initiator of the analysis
.Key findings of the analysisThe European tourism industry
– but also associated branches such as commerce, mobility, telecommunications and culture – must adapt itself not only to the influx of tourists from China but also to their travel and holiday needs.
Up to now it has often been those antiquated images of Chinese tourists that have predominated: tourists always in groups and en route preferably in a bus, and constantly on the lookout for photo motifs, sightseeing centres and places to shop around the main tourism attractions. Already the upcoming huge increase in the number of holidays
will bring about enormous logistic and organisational challenges. Yet the real challenges lie in the further differentiation of the Chinese tourism market towards greater individualisation, which at the moment is taking place at a rapid pace. The currently established business models will even in the near future no longer be sufficient to cope with the increasingly more diverse travel needs of Chinese tourists.The future belongs to new concepts
for group travel which are characterised by a large range of niche offers for widely differing target groups. Specific "niches" could in the medium term certainly develop into considerably large sectors. Moreover, Chinese travellers are perceptibly changing from passive "Holiday Takers" to active "Holiday Makers", who want to take an active part in arranging their holiday.The advance in prestige in their home country
and shopping continue to be the most important reasons for travelling to Europe. At the same time the idea of authentically experiencing the diverse cultures of Europe is becoming one of the top reasons for visiting. However, what the Chinese perceive to be "European", does not always coincide with how the Europeans see themselves.Providers in the tourism industry must recognise at an early juncture the changing needs
and wishes of Chinese tourists and approach their new guests with respect and modified services. This can be achieved only on the basis of a greater understanding of the Chinese culture.Europe is increasingly competing with other regions
such as the USA and Australia. Consequently to achieve added value from this interesting market the European tourism industry must now set its course for the future. This necessitates not only innovations and investment, but also the willingness to enter into new partnerships beyond the bounds of its own industry. www.tui-group.com/en/innovation/think_tank/trends_travel_market/emerging_markets