Editorial: Travelers off the beaten track

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

Dear readers,

this week I would like to guide your attention to an article which was written by Yang Han, a journalist based in Hong Kong with the China Daily. The article discusses the fact that Chinese Outbound tourists are increasingly switching their focus to customized trips.

Yang Han had the courtesy to quote me in the article, saying: “More Chinese travelers are pursuing special interests, which can involve hobbies such as golf, photography and dining. Other areas include health tourism and educational activities. Activities and experiences are becoming more important than sightseeing and shopping, as more people are traveling to live like the locals“. However, while Chinese travelers are willing to pay more, they expect better quality in return.

A report from Ctrip about National Day holidays 2019, which happened at the beginning of this month, confirms the trend further. Instead of settling for the most popular destinations, Chinese travelers of all ages are now more willing to explore less-visited destinations for a “sense of uniqueness”.

Of course, if I may say so in brackets, too many go to less-visited destinations, they lose exactly this characteristic, as the inhabitants of Dubrovnik can confirm. Thanks to the fact that some scenes of “Game of Thrones” were filmed there, the arrival numbers from China increased fivefold – and of course other nationals also followed this series.

Last year, about 50 percent of Chinese outbound travelers chose to join a package tour group, with others opting for customised groups according to another report by Ctrip and the China Tourism Academy.

Yang Han further quoted me with regard to the fact that Chinese outbound travel market is developing so quickly that it is difficult for global tourism service providers to keep up with the trend. Social media platforms take a while before international service providers get aware of them, which means that by then often another has already become more popular.

I even got the final say: In general, Outbound travel has become part of the lifestyles of many urban Chinese and it will certainly continue to grow in the coming years. Only about 10 percent of Chinese have a passport and can afford long-distance travel, but within the next decade, this proportion will have doubled.

The full article can be found here:


As always, I wish all our readers a peaceful and profitable week.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the COTRI WEEKLY team