China, the Future of Travel

China, the Future of Travel

How will the future development of tourism from China affect you?

2015 Edition, published: 21 April 2015

Within only a few short years, Europe and the rest of the Western world have seen a marked shift in how Chinese experience travel. This is having a major effect on the way which destinations must market themselves to Chinese visitors. Since 2004, Chinese tourists have been playing catch up with the rest of the world in record speed. These days, the talk is of a rising consumer group consisting of self-made millionaires, and senior executives working for multinational corporations. The wealthy elite are not just men, and not just middle-aged. High-flying career women and female entrepreneurs as well as the 20-something children of senior Communist Party officials comprise this niche market for luxury travel and consumer goods. Some of the niche travel categories to emerge out of this are: spiritual journeys (to Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and India); adventure travel (hiking, climbing, self drive safaris, skiing); cultural travel or a combination of activities. Within China itself the shift in how people travel created a boom in the construction of luxury hotels, both large chains and small boutique offerings. There has also been a massive growth in the budget hotel sector, with local and international chains scrambling to find locations in China’s booming cities. Rural retreats are opening up to offer relaxing therapies to busy business people. The trend towards more individual choices in travel is apparent in the larger cities.

Looking ahead, it is plain to see that the old clichés about Chinese tourists no longer hold true. The sheer size and complexity of the market means that there is demand for almost any type of travel service, provided the seller knows where to look. Chinese who can afford luxury are educated and well traveled. Broadly speaking, they would prefer to be treated the same as clients from other countries while still enjoying special amenities and services afforded especially to Chinese customers.
The newly updated and expanded 3rd edition China Outbound Travel Handbook 2015 (China, the Future of Travel) launched today is intended to help set into context the media hype and excitement across the industry, and provide deeper insights about this market to people working in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors. This book contains interviews and case studies from industry insiders both Chinese and Western that have many years of experience working in and with the Chinese outbound tourism market. Each brings their own perspective to form a rounded picture of the opportunities and challenges.

China the Future of Travel Cover

Get a 20% discount on the book (print or electronic version) with the code ce20, order your copy here.


A recognized expert in China tourism and hospitality, ‘China, the Future of Travel’ author Roy Graff founded ChinaContact as a market entry consultancy in 2005 and published the very first edition of the book that same year. His career to-date focused on business development in e-commerce, online travel and luxury hospitality & retail in China and other emerging markets. Roy speaks fluent Mandarin and has lived in China for several years, heading the independent travel and e-commerce division of Gulliver’s Travel Associates (now owned by Kuoni). Roy has actively strived to bridge Western and Chinese cultures in the tourism sector, including the conception and production of major travel trade forums on Chinese tourism (Beijing, 2004; World Travel Market London 2006, 2007, 2008). He is a founding member of the China Advisers Network (C.A.N.). In 2013 Roy founded China Edge as a partnership to offer strategy, training and marketing reach in China to luxury retail and hospitality brands.