Asian Tourists: Where do they travel to?

Trip beyond paris

Trip.com Group is witnessing a significant increase in bookings across Europe, mainly due to football events in June and the upcoming Olympic games in July, and August.

The summer travel season is in full swing, and Trip.com Group, a leading travel service provider, is witnessing a significant increase in bookings across Europe, mainly due to the football in June as well as a major international sporting event in Paris that kicks off in late July.

There has been double-digit growth in travel bookings from global travelers heading to Paris this summer compared to last year, showcasing the potential of sports tourism to win a gold medal in encouraging travel consumption.

Who Is Travelling? 

Among travelers visiting Paris in July and August, there is strong demand from Asia, including the Chinese mainland, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong, and other travelers from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the USA. Notably, there was also a 105% surge in orders from Chinese consumers. Paris remains a top destination for Chinese travelers, reflecting their strong desire to experience the French capital’s culture and history.

Chinese tourists are showing a taste for luxury, with the highest booking volume for suites and king-sized hotel rooms among other travelers, reflecting a desire for more spacious and upscale accommodations during their stay. The average spending per Chinese traveler has risen by 65%, with an increase in 5-star hotel bookings from the previous year.

Asian fans also display distinct differences regarding major sporting events compared to their European counterparts. They prefer to combine their sports viewing with broader travel plans, with them, on average, booking longer hotel stays than European travelers.

The average length of a stay for travelers from Asia has increased by 20% compared to the same period last year, with the Chinese mainland, South Korean, and Hong Kong travelers staying the longest. This suggests that Asian tourists are extending their vacations to fully immerse themselves beyond the sporting event this summer.

Other sporting events, with their diverse range of sports and global representation, also attract international fans from Asia who often combine their attendance with extensive cultural and tourist activities. However, European fans, especially those following football this summer, primarily concentrate on cheering for their national football teams, with shorter stays dictated by the matches. This approach from Asian travelers amplifies the travel experience and encourages a deeper engagement with the host destination.

This summer, Asian travelers spent more on attractions than European travellers, favoring attractions like the Louvre Museum, Palace of Versailles and Seine River Cruise. 

Where Are They Staying? 

French luxury hotels and even “palaces” are popular travel options in Paris.

French hotels appeared nine times within the top 100 luxury hotels. Five Parisian hotels were ranked in the top 20, with Hotel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel in Paris, securing the top spot. This trend towards luxury is also seen in gastronomy, with Trip Gourmet witnessing a 20% rise in restaurant reservations with gastronomic honors, such as Terry’s Café, Liberto, L’Imperatif, Chez Milo, and Le Procope restaurants.

For those looking for a unique experience, there has been over 20% increase in bookings for alternative accommodation, such as vacation rentals and boutique lodgings. Within the Asian-Pacific market, Singapore leads the way for such accommodation beyond hotels with triple-digit growth, closely followed by Japan with double-digit growth. 

More and more Asian travelers are choosing to explore cities other than Paris, with triple-digit growth among cities outside the capital.

The top 10 cities and regions attracting travelers outside of Paris include Nice, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Nantes, of which Nice and Marseille, in the French Riviera, will hold football matches.

For instance, visitors from Japan and Hong Kong are now making reservations to stay in Marseille, Lyon, and Nice, with bookings showing double-digit growth compared to the same period last year. Travelers are seeking a cultural experience inside and outside of Paris, with increasing interest in the French wine region of Provence.

Traditional attractions throughout France continue to captivate travelers from Asia with their rich historical and cultural charm. Top attractions in Paris, include The Louvre Museum, the Paris Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, and Disneyland Paris. There has also been a rise in orders for private tours in France, increasing by over 50% year-on-year.

The surge in bookings and enthusiasm among travelers reflects a deepening interest in combining sports tourism with cultural exploration, highlighting a growing desire to experience more than just the traditional vacation. Sports events provide a unique gateway for tourists to engage with the culture and community of their destination.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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