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Ctrip 2023-2024 Inbound and Outbound Travel Consumption Trends Report

The Group’s 2023-2024 Report presents Ctrip data on Chinese tourism trends in the first year of China’s reopening after the pandemic. Here's what it says about outbound travel, including user profiles, booking behavior, leading attractions and more.

The Group’s 2023-2024 Report presents Ctrip data on Chinese outbound and inbound tourism trends in the first year of China’s reopening after the pandemic. The report was published on 19 March – click here to view the full original content (in Chinese). We’ve translated content specific to outbound travel.

In Q4 2023, Ctrip’s number of active outbound travel users and outbound travel spending had both recovered to 80% of 2019’s levels.

Outbound Traveler Profile

Data on Ctrip users in 2023 points to the outbound market becoming more concentrated along its core demographics of female travelers and first-tier city residents. We would expect increased diversification as time goes on and more mainland Chinese travel abroad, and expect that growing international flight capacity could lead to more outbound trips from lower-tier cities as well.

In 2023, Ctrip’s outbound travelers were 56% female and 44% male. The Chinese outbound tourism market usually skews female, but the report notes that the gender gap in 2023 was even bigger than in 2019.

69% of Ctrip’s outbound travelers came from first-tier and new first-tier cities, and this group grew the most significantly as a proportion of the total outbound travelers. Only one-tenth of outbound travelers were from cities classified as third-tier or below, a drop of 30% since 2019.

Comparing the ages of Ctrip users with pre-pandemic, we do see the growth of younger generations, with the post-90s cohort finally surpassing the post-80s. Post-90s international travelers grew by 4%, with post-00s up by 8% since 2019.

Outbound Destinations

The report notes that the destinations most preferred by mainland Chinese travelers in 2023 were generally nearby and with favorable visa policies.

The destinations with the greatest search volume on Ctrip in 2023 weren’t wildly different from the most visited destinations, but there was a greater stress on long-haul countries here, with the US in 4th, and France in 8th.

Booking Times and Trip Length

Travelers to North America have to start planning earliest, booking visa services on Ctrip nearly three months in advance. Travelers to Europe and Oceania need between one and two months for visas. Those joining group tours to Europe and Oceania book around one month in advance. Travelers to Oceania book all services with a slightly longer lead time than travelers to other destinations, but mainland Chinese travelers going anywhere in the world tend to leave their hotel and car rental bookings until the last week.

Trips to the Americas were the longest, at around three weeks. Trips to Europe and Oceania were around two weeks long, with 10 days the average for Africa. In contrast, the average Asia trip was only four days long.

Top Outbound Attractions

Ctrip’s lists of the most popular theme parks, cultural attractions, and city icons reveal the strength of Singapore’s offerings for both entertainment and culture. While Asian attractions dominate, we also see France well represented on the museums list, alongside several European icons, Middle Eastern attractions, and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Top Themes for Outbound Travel Activities

Ctrip users were definitely looking for good views as part of their outbound travel experiences, be it mountains or ocean. “Internet famous” or wanghong destinations were also popular, along with destinations from television and film. Asian destinations were most popular with foodies, while trendy hotspots ranged from Singapore to the Maldives and Croatia.

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