The gigantic growth of Chinese independent travellers | The Insight Files |

Recent analysis fusing GfK consumer trend data with detailed travel booking insights from ForwardKeys paints a picture of six trends reshaping the Chinese outbound market. The explosive growth of the Free & Independent traveller has caused a paradigm shift in size, strategy and effectiveness for destinations and their respective travel ecosystems.


  1. Only 6% of the Chinese population holds a passport yet it's already the world's number one source market.
  2. Rapid urbanisation is changing core values and travel preferences, with Chinese consumers clearly routing back to authenticity and seeking relevant offers that combine traditional values with pleasure seeking.
  3. Destinations perceived to offer unique historical and cultural experiences are the biggest winners.
  4. Embrace the Chinese millennials era - the key segment driving the global travel segment.
  5. Double digit FIT growth, 2nd and 3rd tier cities are driving opportunities.
  6. Chinese FIT travellers are looking to book earlier and stay longer.


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