All the more Chinese nationals seeking to travel to Greece are interested in tailor-made holidays, according to research presented last month at this year’s ITB China (May 15-17).
Findings indicate that a new customer segment is evolving out of China, which is demanding a more specialized approach to travel, thanks in large part to improved financial standing and higher education.
The new market is slowly replacing the current package tour groups and the smaller groups made up of mostly younger, English-speaking self-organized travelers.
Speaking at ITB China last month, Andreas Reibring, head of Research at Kairos, said customization would be the main trend out of China in 2019, citing a survey of 300 Chinese tour operators.
The newly emerging trend consists of small groups of Chinese travelers who still rely on tour operator services, but prefer customized itineraries based on their interests.
Bryan Xiao, CEO at China’s biggest travel portal of QYER, said “75 percent of QYER users are stating that the main purpose of their visits are to follow their personal interests”.
Indicatively, in 2018, some 84,000 Chinese travelers visited Greece, accounting for nearly 0.05 percent of the 162 million trips out of mainland China.
“After a decade of growing outbound tourism, more and more Chinese not only have the money, but also the experience that enables them to clearly say what they want to do while traveling with their friends, family or colleagues,” explained Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director of the COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute.
A joint report presented at ITB China and carried out by COTRI and Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, indicates that demand in 2018 for top-quality services and experiences, particularly for the high-end market including helicopter tours, fine dining, special sporting event attendance or health services increased by 180 percent.
Speakers at ITB China referred to the vast potential of this new Chinese market trend for Greece, stressing however the importance of travel services providers gaining a deeper understanding of the Chinese tourist. In this direction, a new online training program – CTT China Tourism Training – was announced.