Report details Chinese tourist impact on Europe

The number of Chinese outbound tourists visiting Europe is expected to grow to 4.5 million by 2015 and around 8.6 million by 2020, giving the European travel industry potential income of more than €2 billion (US$2.7 billion), according to a new report written by the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and commissioned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

Chinese outbound travelers generated an estimated 3 million visitor trips to Europe in 2010, with the largest number of Chinese travelers visiting Italy, France and Germany, the report said. It identified that a growing number of first-time Chinese tourists are choosing to travel independently, rather than with traditional tour groups.

The Chinese consumer base also has a very high Internet penetration rate (36.2% nationally). More than 318 million Chinese consumers access the Internet regularly, and the average Internet user spends 18.7 hours per week online. Before departing, Chinese travelers will look online for information about destinations, hotels and transport offerings, and are more likely to get their information through social media rather than official company websites, the report found. Online video sharing sites that offer videos of tourist destinations and traveler-generated blogs and microblogs are very popular and influential in the decision-making process for Chinese travelers, according to the report.

 To download the full report, click here.