Chinese Millennials, THE Target of Tourism Players in 2024

Are you a travel agency? A hotel? Or maybe another kind of player in the Tourism market looking to reach Chinese millennials in China in 2024?

This article will help you to figure out the specific characteristics of this group as well as its challenges. Discover how and why Chinese millennials are their new target, as trendy and wealthy customers in China.

The outbound tourism market in China in 2024

The outbound Chinese tourism market has been extensively expanding these last few years.

During the Year of the Dragon break, Chinese tourists resumed overseas travel, with transaction and booking levels reaching those seen in 2019, before the pandemic.

Key Data Points:

  • Alipay reported a 7% increase in overseas transactions from Feb. 9 to 12 compared to 2019.
  • Top destinations based on Alipay spending were Hong Kong, Japan, and Macao.


  • This resurgence marks a strong recovery in China’s overseas tourism a year after lifting COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • Eased visa policies in major Southeast Asian countries for Chinese tourists contributed to this rebound.

Travel Patterns:

  • Chinese tourists visited over 1,700 cities across 125 countries, including distant locations like Madagascar and Cuba.
  • Qunar noted a significant surge in flight bookings to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, with Singapore seeing a 2,900% increase year-on-year.

Domestic Travel Challenges:

  • Issues at domestic tourist spots, like congestion in Hainan, highlighted the appeal of traveling to Southeast Asia as a cost-effective alternative.

Spending and Digital Trends:

  • Overseas spending through Alipay reached 82% of the 2019 level.
  • The popularity of sending digital red envelopes via WeChat decreased, with a significant drop in the number sent on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Future Outlook:

  • The China Tourism Academy forecasts a 50% increase in outbound tourists from China in 2024, expecting 130 million travelers.

The number of Chinese tourists not only increased in Asian neighboring countries but also in further destinations. For example, the volume of Chinese outbound trips has risen by almost four times in Thailand, doubled in Europe, almost tripled in Japan, America, and the Middle East.

What is the common profile of Chinese millennials?

 First of all, Chinese millennials are characterized by the influence of globalization, a higher level of education, and a different way of living in comparison to older Chinese generations. In fact, around 7 out 10 Chinese millennials are part of the higher income group and white collars. They are also willing to spend more and present a less sensitive demand price elasticity. It’s also very likely that their income will improve in the near future.

Chinese millennials, are born between 1980 and 1995 and are the symbole of transformation of China’s economic boom.

Apart from an inevitably higher standard of living inevitably, they are also more autonomous and appreciate being independent. They enjoy using their mobile phone, laptop, or tablet to go on the Internet and they also use social media on a daily basis.

Chinese millennials are ultra-connected

With more than 99% of the population using APP to prepare their trip , China is one of the most connected countries in the world. The Chinese Internet community has a passion for information sharing on social media. In fact, 90% of Chinese Internet users being more than 550 million Chinese have at least one account on QQ, Wechat, RED Weibo, Douyin, or another social media network. They use these platforms to share their comments, advice, photos, and other stories about their trips abroad.

Favorite APP for Chinese travellers in 2024

  • Red Book (Xiaohongshu): A lifestyle sharing platform combining social media and e-commerce features. Users share travel experiences, reviews, and recommendations for products and destinations. It’s popular among younger travelers seeking authentic travel tips and lifestyle inspiration.
  • Douyin: The Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin is a short-video platform where users can share and view videos on a variety of topics, including travel. It’s a go-to app for travelers to discover new places through visually engaging content and find travel inspiration from trending destinations and experiences.
  • Mafengwo: A travel service platform that offers a blend of travel-related content and booking services. Users can find detailed travel guides, hotel reviews, and itineraries shared by other travelers. Mafengwo is known for its user-generated content that helps travelers plan their trips more effectively.
  • Qyer: This platform caters to independent travelers by providing travel guides, reviews, and forums where users can exchange tips and experiences. Qyer also offers booking services for flights, hotels, and tour packages. Its strength lies in its community-driven content, helping users to discover off-the-beaten-path destinations and practical travel advice.
  • Ctrip (now One of China’s largest online travel agencies, offering a comprehensive range of travel services including flight, hotel, and train bookings, as well as vacation packages and guided tours. Ctrip is known for its user-friendly interface, competitive pricing, and extensive service coverage, making it a preferred choice for planning and booking travel domestically and internationally.

Each of these APP in China has its unique features and strengths, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of Chinese travelers, from booking services to community-driven travel advice and source of inspiration.

However, we should not forget that the first use of the Internet for Chinese people is the possibility to research for information before purchasing a product or a service. Chinese tourists look for a different kinds of information: plane tickets, hotels, places to visit, and other attractions. The most famously used search engine in China is Baidu, a leader in its market with more than 80% of the market share.

Also, almost half of Chinese Internet users interested in traveling in the near future visit dedicated travel booking websites. Thanks to this, specialized booking websites produced revenue of 2850 billion Yuans (RMB) in 2016. It appears that the evolution is going upwards with an estimated doubled revenue in 2020. Finally, they have more faith in booking websites than traditional travel agencies (13% against 10%).

To conclude about Chinese millennials

In conclusion, today’s challenge for an active player in the tourism industry that wants to operate in China as well as reach the targeted Chinese millennial market is the fact they are every digital and constantly connected. In order to make the best out of this behavioral change and transition towards the digital world, it’s more and more important as a tourism player to be present on these websites and social networks quoted earlier.

Search engine in 2024, your through?

A well-established referencing on Baidu in order to allow the Chinese millennial Internet users to find the information they need. Publish updated content (2024) and establish partnerships with the main booking websites.

In 2024, be active online on local social networks like Wechat and RED to reach the targeted customer is more efficient

Finally, have an attractive website, with a nice feel and touch, in Chinese, enabling Chinese millennial tourists to directly access interesting information, and even, booking online. A good example of these last few tips is the website of Tourfrombali. The website has an uncluttered design, is in Chinese, has good quality images, and is easy to use.

If you are looking for a Tourism Digital Marketing specialist, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Our agency is working in the Chinese market for years to provide a personal and tailor-made digital marketing strategy to all of our clients, whatever their sector is. There is a place for every company in China.

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