Chinese tourists visit Spain again

by Lorraine Williamson
Chinese tourists

Spain was visited by 101,292 Chinese tourists in January and February 2024. That is 19% more than the 85,171 Chinese who came to Spain in the same period of 2019. This number confirms the recovery of this very important market for Spain. Furthermore, Chinese people spent an average of €2,958 per person. That´s much more than that of European tourists.

First of all, there is a recovery of direct connections with Spain, which already surpass those of 2019. On top of that, there is the expectation of the restoration of international connections of more than 2,500 new international flights. This would “have an impact on the reduction of prices”. As a result, Turespaña expects a 73% recovery in the number of Chinese travellers on international flights by 2024.

Average expenditure and length of stay

In terms of tourism spending, Chinese tourists spent €1.13 million in Spain in 2023, 14.5% lower than the 2019 figure. However, the average expenditure per person was above the pre-pandemic €2,407 at €2,958. On average, the Chinese stayed 10.8 nights, up from 7.8 nights before Covid-19. In addition, the 382,207 Chinese tourists made 40.6% fewer overnight stays in Spain last year compared to 2019.

The reasons of Chinese tourists to come to Spain

According to data from Turespaña in 2023, the main reasons for Chinese tourists to visit Spain were shopping (62%), cultural visits and visits to urban centres (both with 61%). Most travelled without a tourist package (87%) and stayed almost exclusively in hotels (91%). Their main destinations were Catalonia (49%) and the Madrid region (30%).

Average age and level of education

On average, Chinese tourists visiting Spain were 37.4 years old, that is, almost seven years younger than the average age of international tourists (44.1 years). 95% of Chinese tourists had a higher education and 53% belonged to the middle class.

Cogesa Expats

Chinese go abroad

According to a recent report by Oxford Economics, the number of Chinese tourists’ trips abroad will double by 2024 compared to the previous year, although it will be 22% below 2019 figures. The forecast is that Chinese visits beyond China’s borders will not fully recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2025, which is “a markedly slower recovery” than other major global outbound markets.

The Middle East is showing the fastest recovery in arrivals from China, according to the report. Chinese visits to the region will surpass pre-pandemic volumes in 2024, mainly due to travel to the United Arab Emirates.

Popular destinations

Chinese travel to other parts of Asia-Pacific will also fully recover in 2025, as will travel to Africa. Travel to Europe and the Americas will not recover to pre-pandemic volumes until 2026. Meanwhile, the first UN Tourism Barometer of the year expects China’s outbound and inbound tourism to accelerate in 2024, due to visa facilitation and improved air capacity. China will introduce visa-free travel for France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia for one year, until November 30, 2024.

Also read: Spaniards can go to China without a visa

You may also like