Why do the Chinese like to travel abroad?

This is how Chinese tourists behave in Germany

| Intercultural

They usually stand together in a group, the backpack is carried in front of the stomach to protect against pickpockets and numerous selfies are taken everywhere. In hot temperatures, they open umbrellas and wear long-sleeved clothing so that they don't get sunburn or even tanned skin. Who are we talking about here? Exactly, Chinese tourists are a special phenomenon.

As someone who has been working with precisely these people in the tourism sector for years, Volker Stanislaw naturally notices that more and more companies want to address Chinese tourists. After all, 2018 is the official EU-China tourism year, even if it won't make that big a difference. In his opinion, most market analyzes are primarily about the purchasing behavior and demographic factors of the Chinese target groups. However, it is difficult to find reports that explain to us Westerners the emotional needs of Chinese tourists in more detail.

Cultural characteristics of Chinese tourists in Europe

For seven years now, Volker Stanislaw has been working for a Chinese airline in Düsseldorf and was also the Düsseldorf representative for the largest German travel group office targeting China. Much more important, however, is that he is married to a Chinese woman. His mother-in-law has often been part of these tour groups all over Europe and he has taken part in such a tour himself - voluntarily in his own interest, honestly!

If you are wondering how to offer tailor-made travel products and services for this Chinese market, please take a look at the following specifics of Chinese tourists based on personal and professional experience.

1. The Chinese always travel with some China in their luggage

The majority of Chinese tourists always carry the following things with them:

    • Kettle (so that you can prepare the panacea hot water everywhere),
    • Thermos (so you can drink hot water and tea),
    • Selfie stick (so that you don't miss any photo opportunities to share the moments in WeChat),
    • pickled vegetables from China (to enrich our western food or to make it tasty for them),
    • Instant noodles (so that you don't starve to death on the exhausting journey, if you don't like the Western food or if the busy travel schedule simply doesn't leave you time to eat)
    • an emergency note with contact addresses of (distant) relatives in Europe

2. Chinese tourists always want to be online

In hotels, WiFi is of course a must, not an option. Many travelers have already ordered mobile WiFi routers in China. Thus, the mobile Internet is guaranteed on the trip. Because it is immensely important for tourists to share the travel photos with friends and family via their Wechat moments. It is an activity feed from the most popular social media in China.

3. Chinese tourists seek romantic stories

Buying luxury bags and other high-quality products suggests that the Chinese are very materialistic. But Chinese tourists are also looking for romantic places that they have already seen in TV series, reports or social media before the trip. As soon as word of a sight gets around in China, it increases the attractiveness of the destination immensely. Westerners don't necessarily need to know these places. For example, the Chinese would like to visit the home of the writer San Mao on Gran Canaria. Which German Canary Islands holidaymaker has ever visited this?

4. The Chinese are going on the journey of a lifetime in Europe

Many Chinese vacationers only go on a major European tour once in a lifetime. This is especially true for travelers who have neither a large fortune nor a family in Europe to visit more often. Therefore, Chinese tourists want to see as much as possible. It is expressly desired that there is a tightly packed travel program. The phrase translated from Chinese: "Get out of the bus, take a photo, get on the bus, sleep" sums up the attitude. Time to arrive or orientate is simply not necessary if another place or even another country can be explored during that time.

5. Chinese tourists don't need a beach or wine

A relaxing holiday with sea, beach and wine hardly works for Chinese tourists. As a rule, they do not prefer to rest on the beach, but rather spend time there for couples or wedding photos. The thought of voluntarily tanning in the sun often gives Chinese people goose bumps anyway. For many, tanned skin is still a sign that you had to work hard outside. White skin is still considered the ultimate ideal of beauty. White and red wine are not that widespread in China yet. European wine is often only served at business lunches. A glass of wine to relax in is the exception in everyday Chinese life. Also, the knowledge about wine is not as pronounced as in this country. For most travelers, the day ends at 10 p.m. The nightlife in the cities is only an option for young individual travelers, and tour groups have long been in bed.

6. Saving is even more popular than shopping itself

The long lines of Chinese tourists in front of Louis Vuitton stores around the world have had their effects. Many people then wonder why the Chinese are so rich. But that doesn't have to be the case. Because, on the one hand, a lot is saved before the big trip to Europe is due. On the other hand, many Chinese feel as though they have even saved a fortune while shopping. Because the same products often cost at least 30 percent more in China - for tax and marketing reasons - while in Europe tourists can still have their VAT reimbursed. Shopping in countries like Germany is therefore equivalent to a bargain tour, even when it comes to luxury goods.

An inside report from Volker Stanislaw

Source: China Communication

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