Chinese seniors traveling

The increase of Chinese seniors traveling around the world

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The growth of Chinese seniors traveling

With the world’s largest population of 1.38 billion people, China is currently on its way to becoming one of the world’s biggest markets for tourism. According to China National Administration of Tourism, a total of 120 million Chinese people traveled overseas in 2015, creating revenue of $194 billion, representing biggest spenders in the world . Recently, the Chinese seniors traveling industry has been experiencing a boom claiming its strong position in the current market.

Elderly population crisis in China due to the massive increase expected by 2033

According to Law of the People’s Republic of China on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, the elderly in China refers to citizens at or above the age of 60.

China had 22 million seniors in 2015, representing 16.1 percent of the population, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China . In 2000, the population aged from 60 consisted around 100 million. However, this figure is about to increase drastically the over the coming decades, the number of Chinese elderly people is predicted to reach 400 million by 2033 and will represent around 30% of the population.

Chinese senior tourists
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The different types of senior travelers on the Chinese market

Statistically, around 5 million elderly Chinese people go traveling every year. Traveling is considered one of the best things to do after retirement, 70% of elderly Chinese consider tourism as something meaningful and enjoyable, and 47% of them have already traveled a long distance. According to Beijing travel agent Qi Chun Guan “Before, the elderly saved all their money, now, they want to go out and see the rest of the world. These people have seen their share of suffering in their lives. Now, with economic development, it’s so different from previous generations.”

There are two major types of elderly travelers in China. First, the experienced travelers, who are usually better educated with a bigger income, and prefer individual traveling. Secondly, the inexperienced travelers, who are willing to explore the world. 70% of the seniors usually prefer to discover new places in groups, mainly because it’s cheaper than individual traveling. For traveling abroad, elderly Chinese people prefer to rely on travel agents, to get assistance with the visa documents and to overcome the language barrier and the cultural differences.

One of the major impediments for Chinese seniors traveling abroad is planning and the pricing, as the average monthly senior pension in 2014 was 2,109 yuan, according to the National Bureau of Statistics in China. To encourage the senior traveling and make it more affordable, some companies offer flight discounts especially for them.

Top destinations for senior travelers both in Asia and Europe.

The most popular domestic destinations for Chinese seniors are the southeastern coastal province of Fujian and central Sichuan province. Outside of Mainland China, they to travel in Asia in  South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong because of their proximity to China and more affordable prices. Nevertheless, Europe becomes more and more trendy, with the top countries like United Kingdom, Austria, France, Germany, and Russia. According to the College of Economics and Management from Nanjing University, their preferred travel period is around the two national holidays, which are also called “Golden Weeks.”

How does Daxue help its client?

Our client wanted to enter the Chinese tourism market targeting senior citizens. To advise the company what are the main issues to consider, Daxue Consulting carried both qualitative and quantitative customer research in China about the Chinese senior citizen’s habits and their travel preferences, as well as analyzed the most important players in the tourism industry in China.

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