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Readying for Chinese Outbound Market, Adventure Tour Operators Adjust Marketing, Product Design

3 Minute Read

The outbound Chinese market is growing exponentially. Last year alone, 136 million Chinese nationals took a trip across their borders. As Chinese travelers gain more travel experience, they are also becoming more adventurous in their choice of destination and product.

To respond to many Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) members who are receiving an increasing number of queries from Chinese adventure travelers, the ATTA research team offers a short report with an introduction to help those in the industry understand this quickly expanding source market for adventure trips. It also explores what “China-ready” means for adventure operators and destinations.

Chinese Adventure Traveler Demographic Profile

Chinese adventure tourists tend to be younger and wealthier than average tourists from China. They are interested in visiting exotic destinations that deliver exceptional photographic memories for them to share on social media. Some sources suggest concerns about pollution are another factor driving the demand for nature-based holidays. However, beyond basic trekking experience, their technical skills are low and safety is a high priority. Chinese travelers are prone to selecting trending destinations, but also readily abandon destinations if safety or politics is a concern.

Chinese adventure tourists tend to be wealthier than average Chinese tourists.

To become “China-ready,” adventure businesses looking to serve the Chinese outbound market may consider focusing their attention in three key areas:

  • Marketing
  • Product design
  • Product delivery


The internet is the most important tool for Chinese adventure travelers. They surf blogs and social media for inspiration, use sophisticated online marketplaces for booking, and actively share their experiences while traveling and after their trips.

The Chinese online landscape is almost completely different from the Western one, and adventure operators looking to influence the decision-making process of Chinese adventure travelers should develop a good understanding of the various platforms and tools used by Chinese adventure travelers. This will require Mandarin language skills, since these sites are typically exclusively in Mandarin.

More than other types of travelers, Chinese adventure travelers are flexible when it comes to the timing of their vacations. However, it remains popular to travel during public holidays, especially the Golden Weeks (which fall in October and January/February). Adventure operators should consider marketing during these times. Research shows the average planning window is approximately three months for adventure travelers.

Adventure Product Design

Adventure travel offerings are increasing in popularity with Chinese tourists, though their technical skills when it comes to adventure activities is limited. Operators report a limited interest in cultural activities, although they expect that to grow in the future.

“The ability to share selfies on social media was one of the main motivations for adventure travel.”

Chinese adventure travelers are keen to experience pristine natural environments — especially those that offer an escape from the pollution plaguing many mainland cities. Adventure itineraries that include experiences in awe-inspiring nature are sought after.

Chinese adventure travelers place a high importance on capturing key moments they can share on social media. In fact, all operators interviewed for this research mentioned that the ability to share selfies on social media was one of the main motivations for adventure travel. Operators may consider including a professional photographer on a trip and ensuring wifi is readily available to tap into this trend.

Chinese travelers take trips extensively throughout Asia but are beginning to venture beyond the continent.

Adventure Product Delivery

On a trip, adventure operators are advised to plan carefully to accommodate language and food preferences:

  • Language. While most Chinese travelers will speak some English, it may not be sufficient to understand instructions, especially in activities that include risk, like rafting or diving. If an itinerary contains such activities, having a Chinese-speaking guide is of paramount importance.
  • Food. Chinese adventure travelers are interested in experiencing all aspects of a new destination including the cuisine. However, they are accustomed to three hot meals a day, and even the most intrepid traveler will appreciate a hot breakfast after a few days and the option to have food choices reminiscent of their daily cuisine from China.

If you are interested in learning more about this market, download the Introduction to Chinese Adventure Travelers report.

In this report you’ll find:

  • New tourism laws.
  • Chinese adventure traveler profile.
  • Chinese adventure travelers’ motivations for travel.
  • Destinations popular with Chinese adventure travelers.
  • Path to purchase for Chinese adventurers.
  • Suggestions on becoming business-ready for Chinese adventure travelers.

2 Comments to Readying for Chinese Outbound Market, Adventure Tour Operators Adjust Marketing, Product Design

  1. Dragons instead of stars bring Chinese Tourists to the door of Hotels and Restaurants

    “Feel Like Home” is the world’s first website aiming exclusively Chinese travelers, helping hospitality professionals (hotels, restaurants etc) throughout the world, to make the necessary changes to their businesses to adapt to Chinese customers, making their experience in a foreign country as pleasant as possible.

    For that reason, ““Feel Like Home”” implements the “Five Dragon” Rating System, based on the scale of five Dragon, certifying their degree of adaptation to the needs of Chinese travelers.

    The rating starts with one Dragon, where the hospitality company (hotels, restaurants etc) website is translated into Chinese and hosted on the FLH website at the same time taking the FLH Accredited stamp and last up to five Dragons, where the company should have an employee who is fluent in the Chinese language.

    Professionals of tourism, depending on the size and nature of their business, pay a small fee to enroll as members and an annual subscription fee to get their website translate into Chinese and get posted on the FLH platform (, obtaining their first and the Dragon, and paving the way for the company to a market of 120 million Chinese travelers per year.

    More than 150 hospitality companies all over the world have applied and are in the process of evaluation and certification to receive the seal of Feel Like Home and join the network of FLH Accredited.

  2. Hi Ladies/Gentlemen,
    Hope you are very all fine. I am travel agents from Kenya and we do organize tours, Wildlife Safaris and Beach Holidays in Kenya , Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Fiji, Zanzibar, Seychelles and Zambia. I am Looking for outgoing tour Operators Who can send me clients and i will give out 15% commission
    Kindly Regards
    Hassan M Ngala.
    Otherwise your network and platform is very good

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