As China’s outbound travel market reached 109 million people in 2015, trips abroad became more personalized, independent, and focused on meaningful experiences than ever before.
According to a new annual study by GfK released last week, Chinese outbound travel growth has been massive, with retail spending of US$229 billion in 2015. This trend has reached destinations across the globe, which have seen astounding growth rates in the past five years—South Korea has seen its Chinese visitor numbers increase by 112 percent, Thailand 263 percent, Japan 157 percent, Europe 97 percent, North America 151 percent, and the Middle East 177 percent—just to name a few.
These significant increases have been driven by the independent millennial age group, according to GfK, which states that 50 percent of China’s outbound tourists are between 15 and 29 years old. This group’s values are having a profound impact on the travel industry as their tastes shift from being those of “tourists” to “travelers.”