• The number of Chinese outbound tourists hit 122 million people in 2016 and continue to increase.
  • China has remained the world’s largest number of outbound tourists
  • Chinese Travellers spent an average of USD109.8 billion during their Trip
  • Only 10% of Chinese Hold a Passport in 2016.

In 2016, with income growth and tourist consumption upgrade, as well as visa, flight, and other convenient factors, China’s outbound tourism heat continued.

The number of China’s outbound tourists reached 122milion in 2016, increasing by 4.3% compared to the year of 2015 with 117 million outbound tourists.  for consecutive years.


900 Overseas per Capita Consumption


Total consumption by Chinese travelers overseas reached $109.8 billion (about 760 billion RMB)  and $900 per person on average last year, accounting for 16% of the country’s total tourism consumption, though the number of outbound tourists only accounts for 3% of the country’s total tourists.

From the statistics, in 2016, more than 65% of the consumption is for outbound travel and 35% is for domestic travel. This indicates the Chinese tourist is increasingly keen on outbound travel.

Statistics show that Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the U.S., Maldives, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Italy, and Malaysia were the top 10 destinations where Chinese tourists spent the most money.

For the overseas cities, the top ten cities with the most spending of Chinese tourists are Seoul, Bangkok, Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore, Chiang Mai, London, Moscow, New York, Rome, and Sydney.

Top ten itineraries per capita consumption are Argentina, Chile, Madagascar, Ethiopia, La Polynésie française, Tahiti, Mexico, Brazil, Kenya, and l’Ile de la Reunion. Taking the itineraries in South America as an example, the number of Chinese tourists increased by 200%, spending $7,224 (about 50 thousand RMB)

Chinese tourists like group travel, while individual and customized tours grow faster



It is estimated that Chinese travel agencies organized more than 50 million tourists to travel overseas, most of whom are following the group in 2016. Among 122 million outbound tourists, group travelers account for 40%, and individuals are over 70 million accounting for 60%. Chinese tourists still endear to group travel, especially in second, third and fourth-tier cities and regions, but individual travel will be an irresistible main trend in near future.

 Chinese outbound tourists are increasingly interested in the new tourism products, such as the customized itinerary of hiking in Yakushima and watching turtles spawning according to Japanese Animation, or the medical tour for Cancer Screening in Japan.

Statistics show that more and more tourists book the customized trips(400% increase), the themed program(250% increase), entrance tickets(100% increase). In 2016, programs for outbound tourists become more diversified and convenient.

Women are more willing to travel abroad, the 1970s and 1980s are the main consumers


Compared with men, female travelers are more likely to choose overseas destinations, with the latter making up 56% of China’s outbound tourists. People born during the 1970s and 1980s made up nearly half of outbound tourists, but data shows that more and younger people, as well as the elderly, have expressed the interests in overseas travel. In 2016, the oldest Chinese tourist is 101 years old.

Chinese tourists pay more attention to traffic, attractions, foods, and shopping


A list of outbound departure cities: “New first-tier cities” Era

Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen definitely are the four main doors to the outside world, while “New first-tier cities” also contribute numerous travelers whose consuming capacity are almost the same as the ones from first-tier cities.

Popular destinations for Chinese tourists


It has become much easier for Chinese passport holders to travel abroad. There have been 151 countries and districts opened as Effected ADS Destinations to Chinese citizen so far.  By January 2017, China has signed visa exemption and visa-on-arrival agreements with 61 countries, increasing by 9 countries compared to last year. Many more European countries also launched visa-free policies for Chinese citizens. Serbia begins waiving visa requirements for Chinese citizens to the country starting from January 2017. Followed by US, Canada, Singapore, Korea, Japan, and Israel, Australia also agreed that Chinese tourists apply for 10-year multiple entry visas to the country.

Thailand, South Korea, and Japan become the top three popular destinations for Chinese tourists, attracting more than 8.77 million, 8.04 million and 6 million Chinese tourists respectively in 2016. The number of Chinese tourists to Southeast Asia and South Asia grow fastest.

Because of the easing visa requirements, some of the countries become dark horse destinations receiving increasing Chinese tourists, such as Vietnam, Philippines, India, The United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, UK, and Canada.

Not only for sightseeing and shopping, but also for islands, museums, and medical tour


As the air pollution problem in China has been serious, air quality and natural environment have become important factors for choosing destinations. Sunny beaches with fresh air attracted more and more Chinese visitors. Island travelers accounted for 30% of the total outbound travelers.

Family tours are very popular in the outbound travel market. In 2016, Universal Studio in Singapore, The Coca-Cola London Eye, and Universal Studio in Los Angles are among the top ten most popular family attractions.
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Musée du Louvre in Paris, Vatican Museum, The British Museum were listed as the top ten most popular foreign museums by Chinese tourists in China in 2016.
Nowadays, medical tourism has become more popular among Chinese tourists. Wealthy Chinese spend huge money on medical tourism.


How to Penetrate the Most Lucrative Market in the World?



The Lead Generation is the most efficient way to attract visitors to your website and turning them into customers (or investors). Lead Generation will give you access to a huge pool of traffic.

#1 Online presence is vital

China is the most connected country in the world, with nearly 900 million Chinese internet users. The Chinese website is the first thing to do if you really want to attract these people.

In China, people spend more than 40% of daily life on the internet. Among them, we have potential customers, distributors, business partners, and potential investors. Finally, consider having a customer’s service in order to reply and to be available for your Chinese visitors.

#2 No more Google in China, but Baidu

When an internet user searches your business sector, do you appear on the two first pages of Google? if the answer is yes, that’s good, but it won’t be helping you at all in China. The ‘mighty’ Google is blocked by the ‘Great China Firewall’. All Chinese people use Baidu, the number one search engine in China. With more than 900 million mobile search users, Baidu owns 82% of search engine market shares.

In order to be ranked high on Baidu, start by choosing relevant keywords. In the process of internet visibility, backlinks are very important. Integrate them on your website then it can gain more of Baidu’s trust; and the last thing very important, PPC (pay-per-click) even in Chinese people can see promotional offers and special deals leading to your websites.

#3 WeChat is actually one of the best marketing tools in China

The same story for Social Media, if you have good community management on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, it will have any effect on the Chinese internet community. 99% of the western social media are blocked by the ‘’great China Firewall’’. WeChat is the most used one with more than 963 million active users. Having an official account for your company on this platform will allow your content to be liked, commented and shared, especially if it’s quality content. So we are talking here about a user becoming a brand promoter, not one but thousands.

#4 In China Reputation means everything

In China, your travel agency’s name cannot be visible without having a good e-reputation. if you have an enormous pool of traffic on the website but you have no e-reputation or a very bad one you don’t get leads because people will not want to do business with you.

The process is simple, a lead generation agency in China will make sure the bad comments on your brand will not be seen and will publish valuable content about your Travel agency in the forums and e-business discussions. Chinese travelers will always check on the internet before signing a contract with you, they do this in order to see if people know you, and have a very good opinion about your services.

Case Studies


My Next Memory: Tailor-made European trips


Royal Mansour: Luxury Resort Hotel in Marrakech


Memories Travel: Trips around Myanmar



Our Agency: Gentlemen Marketing Agency


You can’t do all these things alone, you need a good and strong marketing agency to help you to establish your business in China. To do so, you have Gentlemen Marketing Agency, a tourism agency with seven years of experience in this lucrative market. With our 50 experts, we can help you to develop your travel agency in China.

Don’t waste your money, we know how you can get the ROI. We are specialists in:

E-REPUTATION: Primordial before launching, we work together on your unique selling point, then on the social networks and with the help of PR, we make sure that your image on the networks is totally clean and reliable for the Chinese users.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization of your website will be essential, our team of specialists will take care of your e-reputation, the management of your social networks while setting up an SEO / SEM campaign allowing you to gain places in the ranking of the Baidu Chinese search engine.


We are the top and most visible Web & Marketing Agency for China you will find on the web. Our Services: E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Weibo, WeChat, WeChat Store & PR.

LEAD GENERATION: Our teams are professionals in lead generation. To optimize it, your e-reputation must be irreproachable. Investing in online advertising and creating quality content will help you develop your e-reputation. Finally, the evaluation of the results will be important to guide us in the next stages of your development.

DIGITAL SOLUTIONS: Website creation, development and audit; social media marketing (including WeChat & Weibo); PR; monthly reports and analyzes by our team of experts.

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  1. it is a very insightful article Olivier, very Nice , lot of information about the travel market in China.
    I have shared it 🙂

  2. Thanks for the insightful piece!
    We are a smaller, local business in Vietnam’s beach capital Nha Trang which is popular with Chinese tourists. We are running a shop selling healthy, natural snacks (dried fish, dried meats, dried fruits, dried vegetables and nuts), fruit candies, premium coffees and more (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnhCatjHETE).
    Chinese travel agencies take tourists usually to other shops which pay higher commissions or which are owned by them. We think we should to make sure that tourists know us before they travel to Nha Trang. There are two challenges: 1. we should only target customers who do travel to Nha Trang to avoid wasting efforts and money and 2. our marketing budget is small.
    We appreciate your advice, thank you in advance!

  3. Hola soy un operador receptivo en Patagonia argentina servicios turísticos como me conecto con el mercado chino?
    Gracias María

  4. We are tour operator based in Tanzania. We would like Chinese tourist to visit the attractions which we have in our beautiful country.
    I will appreciate if we can get in touch.

  5. Hello Olivier,

    I am the GM of shiri tourism , Im looking for promote my travel Agency to china.
    I use to work with tour operator , and it is really complicated in China.

    Can you help to me to deal with them?

    1. Yes we can. the best way is to send us an email with your target, and your website.
      We know it is complicated, and we have others solutions 😉

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