China’s outbound free & easy trip market reached 930 billion yuan (US$142.53 billion) with over 80 million person-trips in 2015. China’s domestic free & easy travel market totaled 3 trillion yuan (US$0.46 trillion) with 3.2 billion person-trips in 2015 according to Lvmama.
China’s strong growing free and easy trip travel market led to the increase of global tourism consumption. China’s free and easy trip market increased by 16.7% YoY, three times that of the global market in 2015.
China’s free and easy trip travelers are major resources of domestic and outbound travel market in 2015. 2.024 billion domestic trips and 61.9 million outbound trips were taken by China’s free and easy trip travelers. Outbound free and easy trip travelers took 65.1 million person-trips for China.
Free and easy travel has become one of the most important travel methods in China. Free and easy trip travelers made up 97.8%, 90.0%, and 66.7% of domestic travelers, inbound travelers, and outbound travelers respectively in H1 2015.
Although the number of domestic travelers with travel organizations rose by 7.8% YoY in H1 2015, it declined by 38.9% in the total number of domestic travelers. Outbound travelers through travel agencies increased by 35.2% YoY in H1 2015 while it increased by only 2.5% in overall outbound travelers.
The number of inbound travelers with travel organizations rose by only 1.4% YoY in H1 2015. Only about 20% to 30% travelers went sightseeing with travel agencies in 2015.
Domestic free and easy trip travelers spent 29.0% of overall consumption on shopping in 2015 and 19.5% on catering. China’s free and easy travelers spent an average of 67 yuan (US$10.27) per traveler per meal according to Lvmama.
China’s outbound free and easy trip tourists spent 55.8% total on shopping, 13.1% on transportation, 10.5% on dining, 9.7% on accommodation, and 3.6% on entertainment. They spent 203 yuan (US$31.11) per capita averagely on each meal.
Although China’s free and easy travelers traveled for “shopping” to some extent, they concerned more on destination and accommodation before trips.
China’s free & easy trip travelers tended to equip a strong consciousness of reserving hotels in advance in 2015. Domestic free and easy travelers reserved hotels 12 days in advance and outbound travelers reserved 42 days in advance in H1 2015.
Travelers became more reasonable towards various choices. China’s travelers would reserve hotels after comparing 14 hotels on average. 56.8% preferred to pay by cash in term of payment safety rather than payment in advance.
Self-driving has become a favorite travel method in China. There were estimated 150 million cars in China in 2015. 42% self-driving travelers made 5 to 7 trips per year and 32% made 8 to 10 trips according to Lvmama.
Travelers spent with 376 yuan (US$57.62) per person per day on average on each trip for short domestic self-driving trips and spent 3.2 days on average with 2,059.5 yuan (US$315.63) per person on long domestic trips. Outbound self-driving trip travelers spent 6.3 days with consumption of 2,857 yuan (US$437.85) per person on average.
United States (49.5%), Australia (16.4%), Germany (10.6%), New Zealand (9.3%), Canada (6.7%) were the most popular self-driving trip destinations in 2015. Self-driving travelers usually searched information on professional websites or forums for routes, travel guides, and attractions.
Free Wi-Fi has been a powerful tool to attract China’s travelers. 71.0% free and easy trip travelers used mobile map service under Wi-Fi to find places or routes; 16% shared photos with friends on WeChat Moments or Weibo; and 7% used Wi-Fi to communicate on social networks.
Free & easy trip travelers had a strong willingness for local adventure activities. 67% wanted to experience 1 or 2 local adventure activities and 24% wanted to participate in 3 to 4 activities.
The post-80s made up 46.2% free and easy trip travelers, the post-90s made up 26.5% and the post-70s 21.2%.
Top 10 most popular domestic destination cities for free and easy trip travelers were Shanghai, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Harbin, Guangzhou, Guilin, Beijing, Shenyang, Dalian, and Changchun.
Top 10 most popular outbound destination countries for free and easy trip travelers were Japan, US, Thailand, South Korea, France, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.
71% free and easy travelers hoped to get one-stop solutions and complete travel product purchases including hotels, air tickets, visas, cruises, car rental, insurance, local travel products and so on to improve the consumer experience and shorten travel decision time. Increasing travel products on online travel service providers could be a good solution.