Earlier, we looked at the generational divide from after opening up and the one-child policy. Now it’s time to take a look at the generations before.
It would be easy to assume that older generations in particular still closely resemble our stereotypical Chinese tourists from 15 or 20 years ago - travelling in guided groups, visiting cultural landmarks, and eating at Chinese restaurants. And it is true to say that generations - particularly from the 1960s and earlier - don’t speak much English, are often dependent on a traditional travel agency to organise their trip, and tend to place more value on friends’ opinions and experiences.
FITter than before, and more available
However, it would be mistaken to think of this group as not evolving. As mentioned above, the Chinese tourists as a whole are seeking more independent travel experiences, and there is a shift towards consuming authentic local goods and services. This group has also evolved with technology. And there is one big advantage among older (50+) tourists - many are less tied to public holidays, and therefore able to travel at any time of the year.
Where the younger generations can be mostly served online, for the older generations Chinese, language support is key both for offline and online. As this group gets more adventurous in terms of the food they eat and places they go, savvy businesses can offer authentic local cuisine and outings that provide new and different experiences than the standard. However, no matter how open they may be to sampling new foods, being able to point Chinese guests in the direction of Chinese restaurants will still be much appreciated.