Inside Out China – Your Resource for the Asia Adventure Market

Natasha Martin | December 18, 2017

Keep on top of the trends from the Asia Adventure Market with the weekly ‘Inside Out China’ newsletter from 40urs & Bannikin. ‘Inside Out China’ provides the top five trends to watch each week. The first edition is below. To receive the list of trends every week, join the WeChat Group.

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Each Friday we deliver the five things you need to know about this growing market via our WeChat Group. Our experts monitor the group daily to answer all your questions related to adventure travel development in Asia. You can join the group by contacting Natasha at

1.   The top 3 travel booking apps

The winners of the online travel universe for 2017 are in! China’s top 3 travel booking apps: Ctrip, Qunar and Fliggy.

According to a report published by Analysis International in October 2017, Ctrip, Qunar and Fliggy are the most used travel booking sites by Chinese consumers. Fliggy (formerly AliTrip), is part of Alibaba, and is a portmanteau for ‘Flying Piggy’. Qunar is backed by Baidu and was China’s first travel engine. CTrip, owned by Tencent, launched ‘’ a new global brand. All three platforms allow users to book hotels, air travel, experiences, car rental and packaged tours.

In terms of the distribution by cities, Ctrip and Fliggy are the most popular apps in Shanghai and Hangzhou while Qunar is most frequently used in Guangzhou. As for the distribution of active users by province, Guangdong has a share of 11.14%, 11.02% and 11.73 in Ctrip, Qunar and Fliggy respectively. Fliggy is more popular among young people, capturing 42% of people aged between 24-30.

Source: Analysis 2017.11.28

Top 3 Travel Apps



2.   One small step to attract thousands of steps.

Canada is seeing the potential in the Chinese market. They recently announced seven new visa processing centers around China. They want to make it easy and fast for Chinese tourists (both business and leisure) to get a Canadian visa in 2018.

Since 2018 is Canada-China Year of Tourism, Canada is expected to welcome over a million Chinese tourists. They have gone so far as to promise that a visa application will be completed within two weeks. So far, the Canadian government has set up 12 visa centers in China and the latter ones also launched the Canadian Plus Program, allowing people who have been to Canada in the past 10 years or hold an American visa to apply for the Canadian visa through this channel.

China - Canada Year of Tourism

Source: Destination Canada


3.   China adds another visa free destination to the list.

With a new visa-free agreement, China has added Bosnia and Herzegovina to the list of places Chinese citizens can visit without applying for a visa. This is destination #66, to offer visa-free or visa on arrival for Chinese travellers.

On November 28, China and Bosnia and Herzegovina formally signed a visa exemption agreement for ordinary passport holders. Bosnia and Herzegovina will become the third European country to waive visa requirements for Chinese citizen after Serbia and San Marino. This agreement makes it more convenient for Chinese tourists to travel to Eastern Europe and analysts expect to see growth in this region.

Source: 2017.11.28

4.  Polar tours are hot in China.

Over 5000 Chinese tourists landed on the Antarctica continent in 2017 – only ten years ago not a single Chinese arrival was recorded.

The pricey polar tour has become a sought after experience for Chinese Adventure Travellers. According to the data from International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, polar tours have experienced explosive growth in China in recent years. In 2017, China became the world’s second largest tourist source to Antarctica, preceded only by the United States.

Source: 2017.12.1 &

5.   Hungary is hungry for China market.

Ctrip has signed an agreement with the Hungarian Tourism Agency, hoping to expand the market in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC).

On November 28th, Ctrip and the Hungarian National Tourism Agency formally signed a strategic cooperation agreement in the Parliament Building of Budapest. Ctrip will promote Hungary’s travel brand through their online channels and together they will facilitate an in-depth cooperation in terms of production, technology and destination marketing.

Source: 2017.12.1

Main takeaway for adventure industry this week: DMOs can seek to partner with China’s major travel brands, like Hungary has done. The travel brands with the broadest exposure will be Qunar, Fliggy and Ctrip – although only Ctrip has an English language site. When working to attract the Chinese market, destinations will do well to copy Canada’s example and do their best to lower the visa barriers – with 66 countries offering a visa-free option, those who do require visas should make the system as smooth as possible. 


Are you Asia ambitious? Find out how we can help you leverage the Asia Adventure Market here.

Want to join our WeChat group to receive the latest adventure travel updates in Asia? Get in touch with Natasha at