TRAVEL PRODUCTS CHANGE TACK IN CHINA

The ITB China Travel Trends Report has revealed that health and safety are key concerns impacting the travel intentions of Chinese tourists in the “new normal”.

The report is a yearly publication, conducted by ITB China, based on a survey among 200 Chinese outbound travel agencies and travel companies, including interviews with several industry experts. It updates global travel suppliers and Chinese buyers with the latest needs of the Chinese travel market, in order to get best prepared to restart travel business in China.

According to the market survey based on 200 China outbound travel agencies and travel companies, the prevention and control of the epidemic at the destination are considered most important to Chinese travellers. Sanitary measures in force will also become key concerns, as will stable flights schedules.

(Shares of the surveyed travel companies on the consideration of Chinese travellers in selecting travel products in the next year)

Self-driving tours, Free Independent Travel (FIT) and customised tours are being driven by the new situation to avoid places with crowds and large travel groups. “After the outbreak, travellers may prefer outbound products focusing on safety, health and wellbeing, while the demand for natural landscape and customised travel will also increase,” said He Yong, President of HCG Travel Group.

(Shares of surveyed travel companies that estimate the travel products preferred by Chinese travelers in the next year)

Island, outdoor, natural landscape, family and medical tours are expected to be the most popular themes in the coming year.

(Shares of the surveyed travel companies that estimate the popular travel themes in the next year)

Business + Leisure (Bliesure) will still be one of the trends for business travel in the future. Over 60% of the surveyed travel companies expect business travellers to make personal or family trips to the specific destinations of their business travel next year.

Regarding the question of how to effectively and quickly restore the Chinese travel market, 200 respondents from Chinese outbound travel agencies and travel-related companies participating in the survey, offered opinions and suggestions, such as“Sustain and improve awareness and popularity of destinations”, “Align and upgrade travel products focusing on safety and health”, “Communicate with Chinese partners to keep aware of changes in the Chinese market”, “Set up flexible operation process and quick response mechanism” and “Engage in pre-sale activities of travel products“.

Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of European Travel Commission, says his organisation would advise European tour operators to start work on preparing products to answer the needs of potential travellers and visitors in the aftermath of the outbreak: “These products should focus on health, wellbeing, nature, and should be customisable. Examples of such products could be self-guided tours. Chinese tour operators should get in touch with potential partners in Europe to help prepare these products, especially taking into account the Chinese experience in restarting domestic travel after the pandemic.”