In recent years, the way Chinese outbound tourists behave has changed over time.  These travelers are very different from the previous generations of Chinese in almost every way. Despite these changes, some still accept the misconceptions of how Chinese travel act when abroad. In order to give a better understanding of the modern Chinese traveler, here are some myths that will be discussed using a data from a McKinsey & Company report:

Generally when people think of Chinese travelers, many tend to relate the purpose of travel with shopping. Although buying grand gifts may be part of their itinerary, they place more importance on having a better experience, experience locally. More than half of Chinese tourists prefer destinations with good scenery, high-quality cultural experience, and family friendly destinations. Travelers going on long-haul trips in locations such as North America and Europe place more importance on the quality of experience while travelers that opted for closer places such as Hong Kong and Korea with easier visa processes were found to be more likely to shop.2

In the past, Chinese tourists may have been known to populate iconic landmarks and take photos. Now, such iconic landmarks are not the main attractions especially for authentic FITs and many travelers are looking for authentic and local experiences that are specially targeted to their specific needs. This has led to an increase in travelers seeking out more diverse and lesser known niche locations with less tourists.In fact, the younger generation tend to be more adventurous and no longer set iconic landmarks as a must see. This may be due to the large influx of tourists that take away from the authentic experience.

While locations such as Hong Kong and Macau remain as one of the most popular destinations for Chinese major tourists, many more are venturing out further. The Mckinsey report predicts that long-haul destinations and eventually represent about half of the outbound travel market with lesser traveled locations such as Africa will see a rapid growth in the years to come. Other statistics showed that the average age for Chinese tourists in hot spots such as the United Kingdom and United States had an average age of less than 40. This signifying added value as younger traveler will have a longer lifespan for travel in the future..

Along with the rise of outbound tourists to further destinations, industry leaders assume that the need for package tours will decrease. In contrast, the opposite is true. Small high-end package tours have started to become popular as they are flexible and can be customized to meet the needs of the travelerHowever, this largely depends on the demographics. 44 percent of tourists aged 20 to 24 preferred self-guided tours, while tourists over 60 only made up 27 percent in this bracket. Language barriers and cultural differences are some of the factors that make tourists want to travel with package tours.

It is commonly perceived that tourists generally prefer their own cuisine. Research from the report shows otherwise. Chinese tourists want to broaden their taste experiences and often go traveling to experience the local cuisine.Food is a key attraction to these tourists and fine dining packages have seen an increase in demand among outbound tourists. About 34 percent of those surveyed defined fine dining as the most important factor when deciding a travel location. An important thing to note is that a tourist’s sharing of dining experiences through social media is largely responsible for this increased in demand among Chinese tourists. Pictures and reviews help promote restaurants and encourage engagement.

When thinking of Chinese travelers, people say that apps are their go-to platform for planning their travels, but in reality they are not as popular as businesses think. Despite the younger generation of travelers being more attached to their phones, Online travel agencies are the most sought out platform for making their travel plans. Data shows that 52 percent of surveyed tourists preferred online travel agencies while only 18 percent chose app to do the same, but if the app can provide more than just booking information, they may consider to stay longer, so “Story-telling” content is key to success for attracting more authentic Chinese Travelers from my perspectives.