Italy is one of the most popular destinations among Chinese tourists. It is also the travel destination where Chinese citizens spend the most, with an average of 918 euros per head. This emerges from a research by Digital Retex with data from Istat-Confturismo collected from Chinese platform WeChat. With 900 million active users, of which 87% are aged between 18 and 35, WeChat is the most used platform in China to communicate.
In 2016, 29% of foreign tourist expenditure in Italy was supported by Chinese travelers. Guests from the Asian country spent 3.7 million euros last year. The expenditure was particularly focused on the luxury sector. According to Istat-Confturismo, Chinese consumers accounted for 55% of global luxury sales last year.
In particular, in Milan, the capital of fashion, commercial activities absorbed 39% of the money spent by Chinese travelers in the first quarter of this year. Those who travel from the People’s Republic are on average young, sophisticated, independent and always connected.
“Over the next five years a third of Chinese consumption will be in the hands of the millennials, which today account for 39% of Chinese travelers. They are young, live in large cities, and have a very close relation to digitalization. In China, there are more than 100 cities with one million inhabitants. Ecommerce is worth more than 20% of total retail and volume,” says expert Andrea Ghizzoni.
According to data collected by Digital Retex, Asian millennials spend more than 3 and a half hours online on smartphones. Not only for searching products, but also for services and experiences.
“The travel-entertainment industry represents 10% of the searches. People under 35-40 usually book hotels on their smartphone,” Ghizzoni added.
Not only that, Chinese travelers are increasingly independent. The era of group travel seems to be at sunset in the People’s Republic. From the 135 million Chinese travelers in 2016, about half of them traveled independently. 11% of them chose European destinations and by 2020, according to the World Tourism Organization, the flow of tourists with Chinese passports will be by far the most important in the world.