Who is travelling to China? New research gives insight into China's inbound tourism
By Li Jingjing
While Chinese tourists are flocking to almost every corner of the world, becoming the driving force for tourism in many countries, what kinds of tourists are visiting China?
Research conducted by Center for China & Globalization (CCG) and travel agency Ctrip released on Monday might give us a glance into the demographic and their preferences for trip to China. 


As 1633 valid questionnaires show, there are twice as many men as women among those who have visited China. However, the numbers of two groups are almost even among those who are planning their first ever visits to China.
Photo via quanjing.com

Photo via quanjing.com

Besides attracting more female tourists, China also sees more young people visiting in the near future. Those who have visited China before are aged between 36 to 55, yet those who plan their first visit to China are aged between 18 to 35.
“Most of them are college students or those who are just starting their career, they are very interested in China’s history, culture and social development,” explained Li Qing from CCG at a press conference on Monday.
Those who have visited China mainly come from Japan (20%), the US (16%), South Korea (15%) and Australia (13%). The short geographical distance makes Japan and South Korea natural tourists-generating region.
However, worth noticing is that among those who plan to travel to China for the first time, almost 80 percent are from the US.
Experts from CCG and Ctrip believe US President Donald Trump’s recent trip to China may also further boost this trend. 
CGTN Photo

CGTN Photo

Patterns for inbound tourism

In terms of the reason for tourism, one third of those who have traveled to China went for business travel. But that is totally different among those potential new tourists, who are more interested in leisure, cultural experiences, and natural scenery. 
CCG's research shows that medical and health care have become a new interest among those who plan to visit China.
To no one's surprise, metropolitan areas like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou rank among the top in preferred destinations for oversea tourists. 
CGTN Photo

CGTN Photo

However, what is a surprise is that those cities are not necessarily among potential new tourists' list. 
Guiyang, in southwest China's Guizhou Province, Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan Province, Hangzhou, in southeast China's Zhejiang Province are among the cities that they want to visit the most.
CGTN Photo

CGTN Photo

Likes and dislikes

Among many experiences in China, traffic has the highest satisfaction among all tourists and the high-speed trains have become an feature that tourists won't miss.
However, tourist catering received the poorest ratings. The difference in diet habits, concerns over food hygiene and excessive prices are the problems that most tourist worried about.