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What are the most popular European countries among Chinese tourists

Where do Chinese tourists travel, eat and stay while in South-West Europe? | Daxue Consulting

Chinese tourists in South-West Europe.

The implementation of Belt and Road Initiative has enhanced Chinese tourists’ understanding of Europe. The increase in new routes and charter flights has enabled Chinese consumers in second- and third-tier cities travel to Europe. Local terrorist attacks didn’t influence the Chinese people’s wishes of traveling, and we can see the trend of booming tourism of Chinese travelers to Europe in 2017.

  Overview of the 2016 European Tour among Chinese tourists

In 2016, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom became the “stars” among Chinese tourists, with year-on-year growth rates of 41 percent, 32 percent and 18 percent respectively.

Percentage of Chinese tourists in European countries
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

1.      Chinese travelers segmentation

  • In 2017, 63% of Chinese travelers who went to Europe are female. Travelers can be allocated as 6 segments. 50-60 years old segment who has enough spending capability. The second largest is aged 40-50 years old.
  • 85% of people choose group trip and 15% of people are individual planned travelers.
  • 50% of travelers came from tire 1 cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen. 一线城市. 35% of travelers came from tire 2 cities.
  • On average, travelers stay in Europe for 11 days.
Chinese travelers segmentation
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

2.      Chinese travelers booking preferences

  • Booking online: 60% of people booked travel tickets through Smartphone Apps, whereas 40% of people booked through PC.
  • Traditional Brick and Mortar stores are still the dominant channels for travelers to book travel plans, nearly 70% of people booked through these stores.

3.      Top questions from Chinese people who want to have an independent trip

  • Which district is safe to stay in Paris?
  • What are the movies that filmed in Belgium and where are these specific locations they filmed?
  • What brands do British wear daily and where to buy?
  • What are the most famous restaurants?
  • How much cash is needed for daily expenses in Paris?

 Great Britain: London

London features
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

The British Museum is highly recommended by a lot of people on C-trip. Some people even said if they only have one day to stay in the UK, they will spend the whole day here.

Chinese travelers are interested in Chinese collections because a lot of them were destroyed during the Eight-Power Allied Forces and Cultural Revolution, tourists will seek Chinese cultural relics out when traveling abroad.

Buckingham Palace. Travelers are interested in the experience the environment of the British Royal family.

Chinese travelers like to visit these places known for history and politics of the UK.

Where do Chinese tourists eat in the UK?

Where do Chinese tourists eat in the UK?
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

Tea at the Ritz. British afternoon tea is famous in the world and has influenced many other countries. Since Chinese travelers now want to experience and know more about the local culture, afternoon tea is one of the ways to represent this.

Many Chinese travelers are not used to the food in the UK, therefore opt for Chinese restaurants.

Where do Chinese travelers stay in the UK?

Chain stores, such as Hilton, Royal National Hotel London, are top choices for Chinese travelers.

Spain: Barcelona

Barcelona features
[Source: Daxue Consulting]
  • Sagrada Familia is the top recommended place in the unique buildings made from Gaudi and its colorful building style attracted many visitors.
  • Spain ham is very famous and some travelers are willing to try it.
  • Football culture and Spanish’s passions toward football is very special and attracts Chinese football fans.
  • Chinese tourists recognize that Spain has a long history and its cultural inheritance is very different compared to other countries.
  • Many Chinese travelers perceived Spain as a friendly country, Chinese travelers comment on the friendliness of the locals.

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Barcelona?

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Barcelona
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

 Botafumeiro is the top restaurant in Spain because of its seafood. Seafood tends to be very popular among Chinese tourists in any country.

Restaurante Marinero has a very famous Spanish seafood paella and many Chinese are willing to try it.

Portugal: Porto, Lisbon

how do Chinese tourists perceive Portugal
[Source: Daxue Consulting]
  • Chinese perceive Portugal as a perfect combination of old and new, such as the construction of the city and culture inheritance.
  • Portugal is very good for travel all year, but the best travel seasons are from April to September.
  • Most Chinese travelers book group tours when they choose to go to Portugal and those tours are more like a travel package that contains other countries as well. It is because of language barriers, having a tour guide can help them to better understand the culture and history.
  • Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower are representations of Lisbon.
  • Lisbon has a lot of churches and these places attracted a lot of Chinese travelers.
Lisabon features
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Lisbon?

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Lisbons
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

France: Paris

Paris features
[Source: Daxue Consulting]
  • Chinese travelers perceive Paris as a romantic city;
  • In recent years, some news reported Chinese tourists faced with such issues as pickpocketing, which is become more common.

Chinese are highly concerned about safety.

A traveler wrote the following recommendations for those who choose to go to Europe: “Europe’s public security is not as good as you think it is, there are a lot of thieves, and sometimes there is gun violence, even in hotel lobbies. Also, in Germany, there were many sexual assault cases on New Year’s Eve night.”

  1. Be careful of your personal belonging when traveling to hot tourist’s destinations;
  2. Do not bring lots of Cash;
  3. Do not speak loud and bring anything that might make others think you are rich;
  4. Do not answer back to random people who talk to you.

She also listed two other guides that specifically talks about safety in Paris.

Chinese tourists in Paris
The guide talks about safety in Paris: (a) Except for winter, any other seasons are very comfortable for traveling. (b) Many famous movies are filmed in Paris and this is one of the reasons that a lot of Chinese want to visit here. (c) The building style and culture in Europe, especially in a city like Paris, is totally different from anything they’ve experienced. (d) Museums, opera, fashion and food in Paris are very famous worldwide, these are factors influence Chinese traveler’s decision making on choosing destinations.

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Paris?

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Paris?
[Source: Daxue Consulting]
  • There are many famous foods in Paris and Chinese know French for their catering industry.
  • Travelers can get the top Wine, Foie Gras and seafood in France.
  • Chinese travelers like to try out Michelin restaurants which are famous and affordable in France.

Where do Chinese travelers stay in Paris?

Where do Chinese travelers stay in Paris
[Source: Daxue Consulting]
  • Chinese travelers still choose hotels in Paris based on convenience. Distance to tourist destinations and shopping malls are very important.
  • Top three hotel on the list is not very expensive compared to other famous Usually hotels famous on social media that have stunning views like the Eiffel Tower are over 2000RMB.


Republic of Ireland: Dublin

Dublin features
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

Top recommended destinations on C-trip are Trinity College and Guinness Storehouse. Queen Elizabeth I made the order of building Trinity College and it has one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The atmosphere and long history attracted a lot of Chinese travelers.

Chinese tourists recognize alcohol as a significant part of Irish culture, and also have commented on the warm hospitality of the country. Guinness Storehouse is the must-see a place to experience the beer culture in Ireland. In the storehouse, you can see the beer brewing process.

Many visitors love the environment of nature in this country. Giant Causeway is one of the most famous destinations in here. The stone steps were all built by nature which is unbelievable to many visitors.

Wild animals can be seen in Ireland, Chinese travelers are usually surprised when they see these animals.

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Dublin?

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Dublin
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

The Porterhouse has the most comments because it has a different kind of selections of beer.

MATT The Thresher is known for its oysters and chef in here makes very tasty seafood.

The luxury environment made this place very attractive to many travelers. In 2013 Michelle Obama and her daughters came here for food also made this place more famous.

The Netherlands: Amsterdam

Amsterdam features
[Source: Daxue Consulting]
  • Van Gogh Museum is the top#1 recommended place in Amsterdam and his art pieces are very well known to most Chinese.
  • The windmill is a representation of Netherlands, Zaandam Kogerveld (a town in the Netherlands) is the destination that people can experience the beauty of windmill.
  • Chinese travelers like to visit The Netherlands during the blossom season of a tulip.
  • For people who like to try new things, they would visit the red light zone and try marijuana in Amsterdam, which is illegal in China.

Most frequenters asked questions from Chinese travelers about Amsterdam

Most frequenter asked questions from Chinese travelers about Amsterdam
Top asked questions from Chinese travelers [Source: Daxue Consulting]
  1. Different voluptuous life, the Red Light District
  • Is it safe in the Red Light District?
  • How to get there? When is the best time?
  1. What will a girl experience if she walks alone in the Red Light District?
  • Is it safe for girls?
  • Are the “working girls” attractive?
  1. Hans Brinker Hostel named itself as the worst hotel in the world, but its rooms are full of guests every day.
  • Why it is the worst hotel?
  • What does the worst room look like?

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Amsterdam?

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Amsterdam
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

The Seafood Bar and Omelegg have most comments on the list. As mentioned previously, Chinese travelers love to try seafood when they visit other countries, especially things like lobster and crab. One reason being, high-quality seafood is more expensive in China than in other countries.

The seafood bar has a very large size seafood plate, and the secret ingredient makes it very special.

Where do Chinese travelers stay in Amsterdam?

Like any other places, Chinese travelers are still like to stay in chain-operated hotel brands.


Brussels features
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

Manneken Pis and Grand Place are two historic sites that most travelers visit.

Hugo, a used to say that Grand Place is the most beautiful plaza in the world and people who visited here also had the same feeling. The Gothic building style is very unique to Chinese travelers.

Chocolate in Belgium is very famous and many Chinese would like to buy it as a gift to give to their friends or family.

Where do Chinese tourists eat in Brussels?

Chez Leon and “LA MER DU NORD BRUXELLES” are the most famous seafood restaurants.

Where do Chinese travelers stay in Brussels?

Hilton still has the highest comments and rating on C-trip.


Most Chinese tourists use one to two days to visit Luxembourg and usually book the travel package with The Netherlands and Belgium.

Luxembourg features
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

Alzette Valley and Adolphe Bridge are the top two destinations in Luxembourg. People perceive Luxembourg as a perfect combination of nature conservation and urbanization.

Greece: Santorini

Greece features
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

Athens and Santorini are the top two destinations in Greece. Athens has a lot of ancient sites that have thousands of year’s history. Top destinations recommended by C-trip are all these old monuments. People are able to get a better understanding of history when they travel to Athens. As its getting very popular in recent years, Santorini is a romantic city that attracts a lot of Chinese travelers. Some of the famous hotels need to be reserved for a 2-3 month in advance.

The color of Santorini is all white and because it is surrounded by the sea, it is very hard to see any other city like this around the world. The combination of ocean and buildings makes this city a dream place of the honeymoon for Chinese couples. Many people take wedding photos in Santorini as well.

Where do Chinese travelers stay in Santorini?

Where do Chinese travelers stay in Santorini
[Source: Daxue Consulting]
  • Top recommended hotel in Santorini all has a very good view and people prioritize the view as the most important influencing factor of choosing the hotel.
  • It is very expensive to stay in a hotel with a good view and mostly the higher the floor is the higher price you pay. The price varies a lot if you want to choose a higher floor.

Italy: Rome, Venice, Milan

When talking about Italy, most Chinese would have few words in mind, Italian food, Venice, Milan fashion week, old buildings and churches.

Colosseum is a must-see destination in Rome. Thousands of years’ history makes here very unique to most travelers. People recommended to go inside to experience the majesty of Colosseum and it is very different compared to looking at it from outside. Many people choose to visit Plaza de Espana because of the movie Roman Holiday. However, Chinese travelers compliment safety in Rome.

For travelers interested in art and literature, Florence is the must go city that can experience history and the development after the renaissance.

Most frequenters asked questions from Chinese travelers about Italy

 Chinese travelers asking about Italy
Top asking questions from Chinese travelers [Source: Daxue Consulting]
  1. What’s the best one-day travel plan to experience Venice?

14 euros can buy a ferry ticket that works in 12 hours. First, take the no.1 boat/no.82 boat from S.Lucia to Piazza San Marco, approximately it will take 20 minutes. After, take LN boat from S.Zaccaria to Lido Island.

  1. What is the itinerary of visiting Vatican museum and Saint Peter’s Basilica?

Vatican museum is one of the three great museums in Europe. However, I realized, I didn’t have strong feelings about that when I visited the first few exhibition halls.

  1. What are Rome’s famous historic buildings that I must see?

Where do Chinese travelers eat in Italy?

Where do Chinese travelers eat in Italy
[Source: Daxue Consulting]

Recommended restaurants in Ma Fengwo

Italian food is popular worldwide. Restaurants on the list above all have a very long history and well-known reputations. All the websites listed T-bone steak, Italian ice cream, pizza and pasta as top recommended food in Italy, and a lot of Chinese views this information online and choose the highest ranked restaurant.

Related Reading:

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Chinese tourists choose Eastern Europe for travel

Author: Changjun Tong

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