Editorial: 50+ is the new 30 in Chinese outbound tourism

Move over, young travellers!

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

Dear readers,

Alipay published a few days ago insights from the Chinese New Year travel period this year. Not surprisingly they found that based on the result from Greater China and more than 40 countries where Alipay is accepted, the amounts of outbound travellers spending from third-and-fourth-tier cities grew faster than that by those from the top-tier cities, showing that they are catching up on the trend of using mobile payment outside of China.

Maybe more of a surprise for many in the industry is the fact that those who were born between 1960 – 1969, being now between 49 and 59 years old, represented the age group with the highest growth rates in outbound tourism and overseas consumption. The number of Alipay users from this group increased 230% year-on-year and the total consumption using Alipay increased even 250% year-on-year. Those spring chicken born between 1970 and 1980, still more than a decade away from their 60th birthday, managed “only” 190% year-on-year growth in numbers and 232% year-on-year in total consumption. As this shows, the global trend of older folks taking over the show and being not afraid of modern technology is also manifesting itself in China’s outbound tourism.

Talking of even older folks namely myself, I am looking forward to meet some of our COTRI WEEKLY readers during the ACE of M.I.C.E Fair and Conference, which takes place from Wednesday February 20th, to Friday February 22nd, 2019 in the Istanbul Congress Center (ICC), right in the fashionable Nişantaşı district of Istanbul.

On Wednesday I will have the honour to give a presentation about the topic How to develop marketing strategies to win Chinese FITs. The presentation starts at 14:00 h in the Corner B hall.

Entry is free of charge, but you will have to register beforehand to enter the fair at


Next week, COTRI will unveil the COTRI Analytics Radar. What exactly that is, we will tell our dear readers in the coming edition. Happy guessing!

With best wishes for the week

Prof. Dr. Arlt and the COTRI WEEKLY TEAM