How to Prepare for the Returning Chinese Traveler

Trip.com’s Ken Lau weighs in on how operators can prepare for the return of the outbound Chinese traveler to long-haul markets like the U.S. and Europe, at Arival Activate | Bangkok 2023

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Chinese travelers are planning their trips to the U.S. and Europe: are operators ready? 

At Arival Activate | Bangkok, which country’s travelers are returning to global travel, and when, was a recurring theme of discussion. While the return of Chinese travelers is well underway for intra-Asian travel, their return to long-haul markets is expected to take a little longer. 

However, as we move into the latter half of 2023 and into 2024, operators in places like North America and Europe should expect traveler numbers from China to increase: the U.S. is in the 6th spot and the U.K. in spot 10 — the only non-Asia Pacific countries listed in the top 10 — for Chinese traveler destinations according to 2023 booking data shared by Ken Lau, head of global partnerships for tours and tickets of China’s largest online travel agency, Trip.com.

I connected with Lau for a brief conversation about his key points about the returning Chinese traveler. Watch that full conversation here:

Ken Lau, head of global partnerships at Trip.com, shares insights on the returning Chinese traveler at Arival Activate | Bangkok in June 2023

While Chinese travelers may be returning slower to long-haul markets than to intra-Asian travel, due in part to challenges with flight capacity, “you still, as tour operators and attraction partners, have time to prepare yourself to design Chinese-friendly products in order to win them over,” Lau encourages. 

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Lau shared some specific details on how operators can appeal to the Chinese traveler with Chinese-friendly travel products in his keynote presentation on The Return of the Chinese Outbound Traveler at Arival Activate | Bangkok 2023 . On-demand event sessions are available to Insider Pro Access members.  

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