China's customized travel market in 2017 was growing fast, an industry report revealed on Monday.
Some 40 percent of customized travel by Chinese tourists was for outbound travel plans, among which Europe accounted for 10 percent, according to the report.
The report was jointly released by online tour operator Ctrip.com and China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI), at the first Business Summit of Ctrip Customized Travel held in the Hungarian capital on Monday.
The joint report, "Customized Travels of Chinese Visitors to Europe", detailed the growth of demand for customized travel to Europe in 2017.
Ctrip Customized Travel CEO Kane Xu said, "China's travel market is booming which offers a new business model and opportunities for products and services in customized travel."
With a year-on-year growth of 130 percent, Europe has seen increasing Chinese travelers opting for such unique, personalized travel experiences. Apart from being unique, main demands for trips were those that were in-depth, slow pace, private, niche and more about leisure.
From Ctrip's travel data, 2017 saw more than 6 million Chinese making their first entry to Europe. A total of 9.3 percent of Chinese travelers chose Europe as their outbound destination, making it the second most popular continent for Chinese travelers. Females traveled more than males and 23 percent of total outbound tourists to Europe were aged 50 and over.
The top 5 European countries for customized travel were Britain, Italy, France, Russia and Greece. On average, customized trips to Europe lasted around 12 days with tours not exceeding two countries.
"The demand and consumption of customized travel by Chinese consumers is unique and represents a leading global market segment. It is characterized by its popularity, youthfulness and high growth rates," according to Director of COTRI Wolfgang Georg Arlt.
Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou were the top three departure cities for customized travel. While they made up 50 percent of customized travel, second-tier cities such as Harbin, Wuhan, Fuzhou, Nanjing and Hangzhou were part of the fastest-growing cities with year-on-year growth exceeding 100 percent.
Personalized demands and themes from gastronomy to wedding photography to study tours to honeymoons to specific sporting interests and activities could be fulfilled through Ctrip's vast resources and selections.
The sheer size of Europe provided a great variety of options for Chinese tourists, according to the report.