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Chinese travelers embrace free independent travel and share economy

2017/9/3 21:17:00
The days of taking in the sights from the safety of a tour bus are coming to an end, being replaced by a new class of Chinese world travelers, eager to embrace and engage in new experiences. The travelers are motivated by experiences that differ completely to everyday life and where there is an opportunity to learn: different customs, cultures, languages, cuisines, scenery, and activities.

For brands and organizations in the travel, hospitality and retail sectors in Australia, some of the more significant trends underpinning this shift bring to light key opportunities in the travel purchase cycle.

Chinese appetite for ‘free, independent travel’

While group travel has traditionally provided a much-enjoyed safety net, the trend is turning toward Chinese travelers seeking the spontaneity, adventure, and flexibility that comes with free, independent travel (FIT).

The pure FIT traveler is often part of the younger demographic. They plan their holiday themselves and enjoy venturing solo beyond the cities into regional Australia. Yet there is a middle ground in the fast-growing semi-FIT segment. The semi-FIT traveler is keen for some aspects of travel to be organized, as long as they have the freedom and flexibility to explore and discover something on their own.

Increasingly, Chinese FIT and semi-FIT travelers want to do self-guided holidays in Australia with family and friends. The opportunity for the Australian travel industry therefore is to respond and create appropriate packages with pre-booked accommodation and flights but flexible itineraries.

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