Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, and financial services company Alipay teamed up to create a survey about the trends and habits of Chinese tourists.
The survey, called “2018 Trends for Mobile Payment in Chinese Outbound Tourism,” surveyed about 2,800 Chinese travelers, as well as more than 1,200 overseas merchants.
The survey found out a few key things: The average budget for travelers has increased, and more of them are using mobile payment systems than ever before. In fact, mobile payments surpassed cash payments for the first time, with 32 percent of all transactions going mobile.
The mobile payments push also helped overseas merchants. Of the merchants surveyed, 58 percent said they integrated Alipay and found that more people came to their stores, and 56 percent said they experienced better sales.
Chinese tourists also traveled more than ever before, visiting an average of 2.8 countries or regions, an increase from 2.1 the previous year. Travel budgets also saw a new high, up 15 percent to $6,706, as did spending, which was up 6 percent to $6,026.
In 2018, Chinese tourists traveled to more exotic locales, like Western Asia and Africa. Chinese millennials, born between 1990 and 1999, lead the pack when it comes to exotic locations, as 5 percent have even traveled to Nordic countries.
Another notable millennial fact is that they’re no longer the dominant group using mobile payments – 68 percent of Chinese tourists born between 1970 and 1979 used mobile payments when traveling.
The proliferation of mobile payments has helped to increase sales for local merchants, the survey noted. Seventy-one percent of Alipay-adopting sellers said they would recommend its usage to help sales.
The survey also showed that there were three main categories of purchases for Chinese tourists: shopping, accommodations and dining. There were also three factors weighing buying decisions: discounts, quality and pricing.