If you have been traversing across the globe, you would have definitely noticed the rise of the Chinese traveler. These days, people from China seem to be everywhere. I mean not as immigrants, which is on the rise too, but more so, the Chinese travelers. Their numbers have increased so much that the entire travel community is creating a special China focus area in their business plan. You can see Chinese translators at key tourist hot spots and then you have all these travel companies and agents have their information lied out in Chinese. I have noticed this trend too and have in fact come in touch with many of them personally during my travels. I have put them into different buckets to help understand their true travel personalities.
The Super Rich Chinese Traveler
The entire world knows that 99% of the products they come in touch with is manufactured in China and hence it comes as no surprise that this has led to some of the Chinese people becoming super rich. To see the amount of money they have, walk into some of Macau’s casinos during a weekend and see bets worth millions of dollars being placed. These are travelers who don’t flinch at seeing the bill. They are out there to sample special destinations and don’t care how much it costs.
The Rich Chinese Middle Class Traveler
They wear designer labels and don’t flinch while swiping their card for a $10,000 watch in Hong Kong. They are the luxury traveler and can be seen in five star hotels in Kenya, Tanzania, Italy, Hawaii, Bahamas, Bali and other exotic destinations. They love to be pampered and indulge in massages, spa treatment and good food. Some of them speak English, while the rest speak Mandarin only. I hate to say this, but some of them are also very loud and rude.
The Large Chinese Tour Groups
There is no other country on the planet that travels in larger groups than the people from mainland China. I have personally seen 20 buses in Siem Reap and 200 tuk tuks in Thailand ferrying large groups of Chinese travelers. Generally, all these groups come with Chinese translators and tour guides. A lot of tour agencies in China cater to such kind of travelers who like to travel, but need their own flavor. These people love to stick to their kind and try and eat Chinese cuisine. They are middle aged to elderly people who seek a bit of luxury and comfort.
The English Speaking Young Chinese Backpacker
The younger generation of Chinese people either speak crisp American English or speak passable English. Their gadgets are like second skin to them. I think they are possibly the most obsessive users of social media in the world. They have been bitten by the backpacking bug and bitten real hard. They stay in hostels and do budget travel. They like to experiment. They break the ‘standard Chinese travel’ style and go out of the way. You will see them in places where you typically will only see die-hard European backpackers. They do both short vacations as well as gap years.
If you are a travel outfit and don’t have a China focus area, I advise that you re-look at your plan and think of the potential of a billion plus people with rising income and increasing travel appetites, but who prefer their own style of travel.