Whilst its generally known that Chinese tourists are generally seeking different holiday experiences from westerners (who are more likely to enjoy lying around beaches, resorts and restaurants for weeks at a time) I didn’t realise how fast they have moved from a desire to “be pushed out of their comfort zone” to a demand for “extreme international adventures”. According to China Travel “the hunger for extreme international adventure among young Chinese tourists has soared in the past couple of years and has led to “a 50% to 75% increase in the demand for such holidays, as well as a fast-expanding market for polar adventures and road trips”.
It seems that Chinese tourists now “seek challenges, authenticity and thrills” including Hot-air ballooning, white-water rafting, abseiling, skydiving and paragliding. Suddenly, hiking, wine-tasting, whale-watching, shopping and touring historical sites seems a bit tame!
This explosion in the number of young thrill-seekers has created new tourism opportunities for countries like New Zealand (who have always been regarded as an ‘adventure destination’) but also others like Alaska, the Balkans, Africa and Nepal who are able to offer unique, challenging and authentic experiences. According to the SCMP “the three international destinations seeing the fastest growth in Chinese tourists in the third quarter of 2018 were Serbia (where growth was more than 100%), Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Nepal”.