Survey reveals rise in per-capita budgets for outbound tourism

People walk past tourist information in various languages including Chinese near the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, on March 26, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]
The overall per-capita budget for outbound Chinese mainland tourists has increased 16 percent from the pre-COVID-19 period to nearly 40,000 yuan ($5,774) after the easing of COVID restrictions, a report said.
Mastercard, a well-known bank card association, recently released a report highlighting a surge in willingness among tourists to venture out of the mainland after the change in pandemic controls.
Among surveyed tourists who had experience with outbound travel before the pandemic, 92 percent plan to travel abroad again in 2023. Moreover, the higher the income of the surveyed and the more frequent their outbound travel experience before COVID-19, the stronger their willingness to travel overseas.
Without considering factors such as visa issuances and border entry and exit restrictions, 49 percent of respondents with intentions for outbound said they would travel within one month, and 80 percent said they would travel within three months. Those with an annual income of more than 500,000 yuan and were frequent travelers before the pandemic tend to travel more often.
In terms of cities, mainland tourists living in first- and second-tier cities account for more than 80 percent of surveyed outbound travelers. In terms of age, those from 21 to 45 have the strongest willingness to travel abroad.
In addition, compared to the pre-COVID-19 period, outbound tourists are willing to spend more time abroad and have higher consumption rates.
Average travel duration has increased from 9 to 11 days, and the overall per capita budget for outbound tourists has risen from 34,300 yuan to 39,800 yuan, a hike of 16 percent. The per-capita individual travel budget has increased more significantly — up 19 percent to 40,000 yuan, while the per-capita business travel budget has grown by 7 percent.
The report said Japan and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are still the most popular outbound destinations after COVID-19 restrictions were eased. In terms of rankings for individual and business travel, Japan and the HKSAR ranked first, respectively. After the pandemic, the popularity of the United States, France and Italy has increased significantly, and their rankings have risen three places.
In addition, as age and income levels increase, more tourists choose to travel to Japan and the US.
Those traveling to Japan and the US are mainly middle- and high-income groups with an annual income of over 300,000 yuan, while those traveling to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macao Special Administrative Region and Thailand are mainly middle-income groups with an annual income between 100,000 and 300,000 yuan.
Tourists traveling to the two SARs and Thailand are younger, while those traveling to Japan and the US are mainly 26 to 45.
The quantitative survey for the report was conducted in December 2022, focusing on people who had outbound travel experience, including individual and business travel, between January 2019 and March 2020. Their ages ranged from 15 to 65. A total of 2,126 valid samples were collected.

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