Shopping? No thanks. We want culture…

According to Chinese tour operator utour, the image of the Chinese tourist as only seeking shopping destinations and iconic landmarks is quickly disappearing.

As an established outbound travel operator in China, utour has focused on a wide range of cultural travel products, in which art exploration, architecture, human history and music are the main interests.

Utour’s communication manager Li MengRan says shopping might well be a primary reason for travelling to Hong Kong or Macau, but not for destinations in Europe or North America.

Li points to a recent McKinsey report, which indicates that Chinese now show a penchant for “experiences”, and have increasingly diverse travel needs. Exploring local events, cuisine, art and so on, are now high on the agenda. And the global fraternity serving travellers from China is evolving accordingly.

“With the explosive growth of outbound tourists from China, more countries are upgrading their services to Chinese travellers by providing Chinese instructions and Chinese-speaking guides,” says Li.

According to utour statistics, the main audience of cultural travel products is mainly middle-aged and old-age tourists. In addition, white-collars and office workers in Tier 1 cities are also the mainstay consumers. “They often expect to meet their needs of seeking knowledge through travel and thus enrich their inner spiritual world. Moreover, they are willing to explore local customs and traditions through unique environment and scenes of the destinations. Tourists with rich experience in outbound travel prefer cultural travel. For these travellers, travel not only is a trip, but also meets the mental pursuit in the heart.” said Li.

Photo: Li MengRan Communication manager, Utour

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