Spending abroad moves away from shopping

New China Outbound Pulse video looks at evolving spending pattern of Chinese outbound travellers

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

Dear Readers,

since November 2017 COTRI together with Dragontrail Interactive publishes the China Outbound Travel Pulse videos on Youtube.com, combining interviews with Chinese travellers with numbers and analysis for a specific topic. Last week the 25th video was published, a reason to celebrate! Actually there are 24 episodes, but the episode about travelling to South America was produced in a Spanish-language version as well as the usual English version.

The latest video talks about the important topic of spending, explaining for instance why China is by far the biggest source of spending on international tourism in the world, but at the same time Chinese are spending much less per trip (550 USD) in comparison to the second and third biggest markets, the USA (USD 700) and Germany (1,100 USD).

Also the reasons are given why the increase in the number of Chinese travelling abroad leads to a decrease of spending per person per trip and why the “Daigou’s”, individual persons who buy abroad for reselling online goods in China, are having a hard time now.

If you want to know the answers, watch the six-minutes video on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6CiWNEWn8I&t=126s, its free.

Actually, it is not only the amounts which are changing. In the last few years spending and shopping behaviour have changed in line with the growing experience of Chinese outbound travellers. Especially for FITs and customised group travellers the emphasis is shifting – and will continue to do so in the coming years – on the one hand from spending most of the travel money on purchases of famous brand products towards instead buying more lifestyle-oriented smaller brand goods with regard to apparel, watches or electronic goods, and on the other hand toward spending a bigger proportion on activities including summer and winter sports, fine dining, learning experiences etc.

This is also reflected in the answers of the interviewed Chinese travellers. “Last month, I traveled to learn scuba diving, so I spent most of my budget on the training” one young lady tells the interviewer. Another traveller says that “Food and accommodation are what I spend the most on when travelling in expensive countries.” Another young lady confirms that she spends “most of my money on tickets for attractions, on experiences.”

So please have a look and listen to what “Professor Outbound” has to say at the end of the video: “Earning prestige and respect is an important goal for Chinese going abroad, so for travellers from affluent peer groups, the simple act of spending money on mainstream brands is no longer a tool to gain prestige. Instead, personal achievements such as learning to ski, gaining knowledge about wine, daring to do a bungee jump etc. are more important for Second Wave travellers.”

With best wishes for a peaceful and profitable week

Prof. Dr. Arlt and the COTRI WEEKLY team