Demand for leisure and travel rises among China’s growing middle class

Due to China’s rapid economic development and growing middle class, leisure is playing an increasingly important role in the lives of Chinese people. According to the Green Book of China’s Leisure released by the Chinese Academy of Social Science’s Tourism Research Centre, Chinese people spend a daily average of 4.9 hours on online entertainment and 5647 RMB (£643) per year on leisure activities.

While online channels, including livestreaming and short-form videos, are providing a growing range of entertainment options, conventional forms of leisure, like travel, are also growing in popularity. In 2019, Chinese tourists made 6 billion domestic trips, an 8.4% increase year-on-year. International travel also grew prior to the pandemic, to a record 154.63 million outbound tourists in 2019.

The Chinese national government and local authorities are introducing a range of initiatives to spur growth in the country’s domestic tourism industry. According to the Green Book, China is expected to establish more than 200 cultural night tourism spots by 2022 to encourage consumption.

China’s domestic travel industry is expected to grow continuously over the next five years, reaching 10 trillion RMB in annual consumption and 10 billion domestic trips per year.


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