A Survey on Trends and Digital Adoption in China’s Outbound Tourism 2023

A traveller with a luggage looking an airplane taking off

As many Chinese start to resume overseas travels from the beginning of 2023 following a nearly three-year COVID-19 disruption, the study on Chinese outbound tourism is of great interest to many.

We surveyed 500 Chinese consumers who plan to travel abroad within the upcoming 12 months to understand Chinese outbound tourists' attitudes, preferences and trends in 2023.

We included previously understudied topics such as digital technology adoption and mobile payment usage. The findings highlight digital technologies' significant role in Chinese tourists’ travel experiences.

The results provide valuable insights into the preferences and behaviour of Chinese travellers, shedding light on their reliance on digital technologies and mobile payments while exploring foreign countries. We hope these insights are helpful for businesses and destinations looking to cater to the needs and expectations of this influential group of travellers.


  • Post-COVID Chinese travellers demonstrate a resilient eagerness to embark on overseas journeys, undeterred by health and economic considerations.
  • The top three outbound destinations include Southeast Asia, Europe and HK SAR/Macao SAR.
  • Chinese travellers rank destination safety, unique scenery and being friendly to the Chinese as the top three destination considerations.
  • They expressed an enthusiastic passion for food and genuine affection for nature when it comes to travel.
  • Chinese travellers of all ages embrace digital technology in travel planning and prefer mobile payments, with an overwhelming 84% hoping to use mobile payments.
  • Chinese tourists are bringing mobile payments to places they enjoy going as the inclination towards Chinese mobile payment services (Alipay, etc.) and expectations towards their acceptantance are clear. Local merchants keen on luring Chinese tourists may need to gear up for Chinese mobile payment and consider offering other value-added services tailored for Chinese tourists.
  • China’s first-tier cities and high-income groups represent lucrative outbound tourist markets.
  • Chinese tourists prefer personalised services such as Chinese shopping guides (83%) and exclusive offers for them. They long to travel abroad, yet also want to feel at home when travelling in terms of the language and payment choices (84%).

Xin Chang, Simba is a Professor of Finance at Nanyang Business School and Associate Dean (Research) overseeing PhD programs and research activities at Nanyang Business School. He specializes in corporate Finance, especially capital structure, mergers and acquisitions, and stock valuation. He taught various courses to undergraduate, honours, master, and PhD students at HKUST, the University of Melbourne, the University of Cambridge, and NTU.

Xin Deng, Cindy is an Associate Professor (Practice) in the Banking and Finance department at Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University. She mainly works on empirical corporate finance and Fintech. She has taught undergraduate, MBA and doctoral courses, including corporate finance, international financial management, theory of corporate finance, corporate finance empirical studies and blockchains and finance.

This study is a joint work with Dr Dianna Chang from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).