Why Africa Is the Top Holiday Choice for Chinese Travellers

A market in Marrakesh, Morocco
A market in Marrakesh, Morocco | © Zoltan Tasi / Unsplash
Photo of Carina Claassens
8 June 2018

Chinese tourists are the top spenders worldwide and, thanks to relaxed visa rules, have recently been making Africa their number one destination. A new survey on travel trends clearly shows that the continent provides everything these travellers are looking for.

In-depth travel to Africa

According to a survey by global media commerce company Travelzoo, Africa is the new destination of choice for Chinese travellers. The Travel Trends Survey shows that more than 60% of Chinese respondents are planning ‘in-depth travel’ in 2018. This is a term used in China to describe unconventional travel experiences that go above and beyond average tourist choices. Africa is at the top of the list when it comes to in-depth travel, with Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania and Namibia the most popular destinations in Africa.

Flamingos in Windhoek, Namibia | © Ryan Cheng / Unsplash

Visa-free travel

Relaxed visa regulations have contributed to making these destinations more appealing. Chinese passport holders no longer need visas to visit countries like Morocco and Tunisia, and are granted visas on arrival in Tanzania and Egypt. This cuts overall travel costs and makes entering a country so much easier. Since these visa regulations were put in place in Morocco in 2016 and in Tunisia in 2107, Chinese travellers to Morocco have grown 378% year-on-year, and visits to Tunisia have grown by 240%.

The streets of Rabat, Morocco | © Badder Manaouch / Unsplash

More sightseeing, less shopping

Historic attractions have risen from fifth to third place on the wish lists of most Chinese travellers, with beach holidays at number one, followed by food and wine in second place. Shopping, however, has dropped out of the top 10 activities altogether for the majority of Chinese travellers.

Cape Town's colourful Bo-Kaap is saturated in culture | © Ken Treloar / Unsplash