2017 China-Europe Tourism Market Data Report

2018-01-18 16:41:12       Size:[L  M  S]

Dai Bin: Goodwill, tolerance and patience, the cornerstone of sustainable tourism development between China and Europe

Since the signing of the ADS agreement, the number of China-Europe tourism exchanges has increased at an average annual rate above 10%. More goodwill, more tolerance and more patience are becoming the main theme of tourism cooperation between China and Europe. 

In 2017, Chinese citizens visiting Europe for the first destination exceeded 6 million person. Counting Chinese tourists arriving from other regions, and considering the fact that one would visit many countries in a tour, the total Chinese tourist volume to Europe is estimated to be over 12 million person-times. Tourism is making a significant contribution to local economic growth and social employment for China and Europe.


Part1. Overview of 2017 China-Europe Tourism Market

According to the Ctrip data, the number of Chinese tourists traveled to Europe ranked second in all continents, accounting for 9.3% of the total.

In 2017, the political and economic situation in Europe eased. Compared with last year, the number of Chinese tourists traveled to Europe by Ctrip increased by 26.3% in 2017. While the per capita consumption amount increased by 36% .On one hand, due to the improvement of economic living standards and per capita spending power , tourists have higher demands on the quality of travel services and personalized tourism experience, paying more and more attention to the comfort of tourism and enjoyment of high-end services , willing to explore different forms of tourism and travel products; on the other hand, the appreciation of the euro increased the cost of tourism and the per capita consumption.

The most popular destinations in Europe in 2017 are: France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Russia, Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece and Austria. As traditional popular destinations, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany are still favored by tourists. Whether traveling with groups or traveling freely, most tourists choose these countries as preferred destinations in Europe. The European countries with the largest increment in the number of tourists in 2017 are: France, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Finland, Iceland, Belarus, Denmark, Norway and Ukraine. As one of the most representative Eastern European countries, Czech has received more and more attention from tourists in recent years due to its unique architectural style and atmosphere of literature and art.

The most popular destination cities in Europe are: Paris, Amsterdam, London, Rome, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Moscow, Milan, Madrid and Prague. Most of the top cities are the capitals of countries. They have convenient transportation, strong comprehensive economic strength and rich natural and cultural landscape. Along with the increasing of personalized needs of tourists, the comprehensive international metropolis with developed economy could provide tourists with varieties of travel experience and rich humanities and arts activities, to meet the different traveling demands of tourists.

Chinese tourists have booked tickets to Europe by Ctrip an average of 10.3 days ahead of scheduled time. According to the sales data of airline tickets, the top countries with the largest airline tickets sales in 2017 are: France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, Greece, Netherlands, Switzerland and Czech Republic. Greece has the fastest increment, increased by 74% compared with 2016. The top cities with the largest airline tickets sales in 2017 are: Paris, Frankfurt, London, Rome, Barcelona, Milan, Moscow, Madrid, Amsterdam, and Manchester. Most of the cities in the ranking are economic hubs, with a large number of people going there for business, study and traveling.

The European destination cities with the most hotel room nights in 2017 are: Paris, Milan, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon, Barcelona, Moscow and Prague. As the economic center and artistic and cultural center of Europe, these cities could provide tourists with comfortable and convenient environment and varieties of arts and cultural activities. 

According to Ctrip European package tour selling data, 2017 the most popular European destination countries with group tour are: Italy, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Greece, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Hungary. Among them, the Czech Republic has the fastest increment, an increase of 73% over the same period of last year, followed by Germany with a increase of 56%. The Most Popular European Destination Cities with Group Tour in 2017 are: Rome, Moscow, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Barcelona, Athens, Prague, St. Petersburg and Budapest. Most of the travel routes includes more than three countries, on an average of 10-12 days, with 4 diamonds above.

The European countries sold most Ctrip visa products in 2017 are: France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Greece and the Czech Republic.

The European attractions sold most tickets on Ctrip in 2017 are: Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Louvre, Casa Batlló, London Eye, Park Guell, Disneyland Paris, La Pedrera, Vatican Museums, Versailles Palace, and Alhambra Palace. Arts and cultural attractions make up the majority. European unique classical art, museum collections from all over the world and distinctive architectures attract a large number of Chinese tourists.


Part 2. 2017 China-Europe tourists portrait

In 2017, most tourists are female, accounting for 54% of the total, with an increase of 13.4% over the same period of previous year. The number of male tourists increased slowly, increased 2.5% over the same period of previous year.

30-40 years old crowd is the main force of European tourism. This age group has higher income, greater spending power. A lot of this age group travel with family and have higher demand for high-quality travel services and comfortable experience.

It can be seen from the analysis of time distribution of tourists to Europe in 2017 that summer is the European travel peak season, from May to September, the number of tourists accounted for 52% of the year. Winter is the European travel low season due to its cold climate. Tourists prefer the warm subtropical and southern hemisphere countries。

The distribution of tourists consumption amount in each month of 2017 is similar to that of people. The consumption amount from May to September accounts for 53% of the year, with an increase of 37% on average. The airline and hotel price increased during tourists peak season, lead to a higher per capita consumption. November and December are the low season for European tourism. The prices of tourism products have been reduced. The consumption amount has decreased by 8% on average compared with 2016. February consumer spending has the highest growth rate, related to the rise on tourism costs during the Spring Festival.

The top 10 sources of Chinese tourist to Europe in 2017 are: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Nanjing, Chongqing and Zhengzhou. Most of them are economically developed cities. The cities with largest tourist increment in 2017 are: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing.

In 2017, East China tourists account the highest proportion, 46% of the total number of tourists in the country, increased by 31% compared with 2016. People in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang have strong spending power, willing to travel abroad. The fastest-growing area is South China, with an increase of 45% compared with 2016. The Northwest area, which was constrained by economic development, accounts for a relatively low proportion, with an increase of 35% in 2017.

In 2017, 57% of tourists to Europe books via mobile channel on Ctrip. Compared with 2016, the number of APP subscribers increases by 40%, much higher than other channels. 

The mobile booking channel is faster and more convenient, while traveling is more and more dependent on the mobile equipment. 

In 2017, 62% of tourists travel to Europe once a year , 17% of tourists travel to Europe twice a year. High-frequency tourists accounted for a low proportion, due to the long flight time and high travel cost.

In European hotels sold by Crip, hotels more than 3 stars accounts for 86%, with an increase of 66%. Among them, the four-star hotel accounts for the highest proportion, up to 44%, with an increase of 69% over last year. Five-star hotel rises the most, with an increase of 72%.

This shows that Chinese tourists who prefer high-end hotels is increasing. Tourists’ spending power is stronger, focusing on travel experience and comfort.

Among the European travel products on Ctrip in 2017, 3-diamonds products account for 22%, decreased by 39.2%. 4-diamonds products account for the highest proportion,75%, decreased by 2.6%. 5-diamonds products account for 3%, with the highest growth rate , increased by 79.9% compared with 2016. This shows that the major choice of tourists is middle-end and high-end travel products, and demand high-end travel products is growing.


Part 3. Summary

In 2017, the economic and political situation in Europe eased. The European economy was gradually recovering. The tourism market in Europe showed a good momentum of development. Both of the number of tourists traveled to Europe and the per capita consumption of European traveling have a relatively high growth rate.

For the changes in the European tourism market in 2017, economic factors have a greater impact. From the perspective of destination, popular European destination countries and cities are mostly political, economic and cultural hubs that can meet the diversified needs of tourists in all aspects. From the perspective of tourist source, Chinese tourists to Europe are mostly concentrated in economically developed regions and cities. In terms of network attention of European tourism, tourists are also mostly concentrated in the eastern coastal areas and inland developed cities and regions. These areas are economically developed. People’s living standards and economic level are relatively high, who have strong willingness to travel abroad and high demand of tourism quality.

In the analysis of travel preferences of tourists traveling to Europe, it can be seen that Chinese tourists prefer humanities and arts attractions and have obvious preference for art exhibitions such as European traditional buildings and museums. Due to the high cost of travel, most tourists travel to Europe at a lower frequency and take a longer time on traveling. Most of the tourist routes includes more than three countries. The demand of high-end tourism products increases significantly, due to more emphasis on comfort and personal experience of travel. Free independent traveler group grows rapidly. More tourists are not satisfied with the traditional traveling routes. They pursue free and leisure travel forms, willing to explore new things. The mature tourism market in Europe also reduced the threshold of DIY tour, which is conducive to the development of this travel form.


China Tourism Academy & Ctrip Group


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