Top 10 outbound destinations preferred by Chinese travellers revealed

By Faye Bartle |

Dragon Trail’s Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report, December 14, 2022.

A strong desire for outbound travel is noted in Dragon Trail’s latest Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report.

Destinations in Asia, as well as France, have topped the list of outbound destinations preferred by Chinese travellers, according to a study by Dragon Trail.

The top 10 places that Chinese travellers would like to visit, when they are able to, are as follows: Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Thailand, South Korea, France, Taiwan, Maldives, Singapore and Australia.

While Japan, Thailand, South Korea, France, the Maldives and Australia are consistently rated among the top countries to visit in Dragon Trail’s previous surveys, there are some notable shifts.

The poll shows Hong Kong moving into first place from second (behind Japan) and South Korea rising to fifth place (from eighth place) overtaking France (compared to survey results in September 2021).

Macau and Taiwan also stand out for making the top 10 list of destinations outside of the Chinese mainland.

Dragon Trail’s Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report (released on 14 December 2022) also revealed that also a third (32.7%) of Chinese travellers said shopping was the purpose for their next outbound trip.

Dragon Trail’s Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report, December 14, 2022.

Source: Dragon Trail Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report (14 December, 2022).

It emerged as the fifth biggest driver, after trying local food (60.8%), experiencing local life (56.7%), the beach and sea (51.8%), and visiting landmarks such as museums (45.7%).

Dragon Trail’s Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report, December 14, 2022.

Source: Dragon Trail Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report (14 December, 2022).

While the survey data shows that sentiment around “won’t travel” remains higher now than in 2021, the proportion of consumers stating they are “eager to travel” has been rising consistently over the past two years.

Dragon Trail’s Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report, December 14, 2022.

Source: Dragon Trail Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report (14 December, 2022).

A pent-up demand for travel was noted, with close to one-fifth (17%) of respondents saying they will travel outside of mainland China as soon as possible when restrictions are lifted, and more than one-third stating they would travel outside of mainland China within six months.

Dragon Trail has issued seven recommendations for the travel industry based upon its findings, including how sustainability is increasingly top of mind, with more than 88% of Chinese travellers considering their impact on local environments and communities when travelling.

In addition, trying local food (60.8%) is ‘hugely appealing’.

Travel retail and duty free stakeholders can take note of sentiments that may shine through in purchasing decisions in the future.

The Chinese Traveler Sentiment Report provides a welcome insight into the travel preferences and behaviours of Chinese outbound travellers, including the willingness to travel overseas, amid a number of updates to China’s Covid policy and restrictions around international travel in recent months.

Currently, outbound travel by individuals for non-essential reasons is discouraged.

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