Friday, 26 April 2019

China’s travel bug has taken on a social media tinge

And that means experience-focused holidays ... and less shopping

China’s vast and growing middle class remains as curious as ever about the world beyond its borders, as outbound tourism continues to grow by double digits, yet patterns of consumption are shifting in important ways as the tourism boom enters its second decade.

Once renowned as voracious consumers of branded goods while travelling beyond China’s shores, mainland tourists are now beginning to spend – and behave – in a different way, in an important shift which many analysts believe has been brought about by social media.

Among the new priorities are shareable memories that can be exchanged in the form of selfies on popular social networks such as WeChat. It’s a tectonic shift in consumer identity that has a direct manifestation in the type of experiences sought by tourists, and can help to explain the burst in popularity for homages to famous sightseeing spots and the surge in bookings for unique recreational experiences recommended on social media.

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