Young and wealthy Chinese citizens, fascinated by technology and with a desire to experience individual forms of travel, are no longer taking the kind of trips once popular with many Chinese people, according to the latest ITB World Travel Trends Report.
Chinese citizens' travel habits are undergoing huge change and the international travel industry must tailor its services to meet the demands of China's new generation of tourists, says ITB.
The demand is for high quality service rather than low-cost group tours, the report adds.
China's tourists want to experience individual travel. While visiting as many attractions as possible remains an important part of a tour, factors such as relaxation and entertainment have now moved further up the wishlist.
And for China's young generation of digital natives especially, social media, online bookings and mobile technologies are indispensable tools for planning and booking trips.
Those who wish to travel abroad make use of online media to prepare in detail and to obtain information on their travel destination, and after a trip they share their experiences with other community members on the web.
Ninety-two percent of China's Internet users go on social networking sites, around twice as many as in Europe or the US. ITB's report advises that websites should be hosted in China to enable a quick response to any censorship activities. And they should not contain any links to websites that are banned in China, such as Facebook or YouTube.
For Chinese people, taking their specific cultural aspects into account is equivalent to affording someone respect, whereas for many Chinese tourists a website that ignores their needs is tantamount to a bad travel experience, ITB noted.
(Article from Travel Mole - reporting on an ITB report)