Global travel industry to see an influx of Chinese spending worth $264 billion

According to a new report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, by 2019, the global travel industry is poised to see an influx of Chinese spending worth some $264 billion, much of that powered by China’s younger generation.

By 2019, BoA Merrill Lynch estimates, the number of outbound Chinese travelers will surge to 174 million, a sizable increase from 2014, when 109 million ventured abroad and spent $164 billion. To put this in perspective, the report notes that $264 billion is roughly the size of Finland’s entire economy (and bigger than that of Greece).

The main demographic driving spending growth in the next five years will be Chinese millennials, defined as 25- to 34-year-olds, which comprise 35 percent of all outbound Chinese tourists. Younger travelers aged 15 to 24 are another vital demographic, accounting for an additional 27 percent.

While they won’t forget to shop, China’s younger travelers will only intensify their search for unique, niche brands, prizing individuality above all else. This means that large-format shopping centers will need to do more to attract young Chinese travelers, as they’re far less likely to show up on a tour bus than their parents, and will increasingly self-book personalized itineraries rather than using
traditional tour operators.

Chinese travelers in Paris