Behavior Analysis of Chinese Millennials Using Apps During Overseas Travel

More than 85% of Chinese millennial travellers always use mobile phones while travelling. They have an average daily usage time of over 6 hours, which is mostly spent using apps that may or may not be relevant to travel, from guide, photography, and map apps, to sports, learning, and reading apps.

(Source: Mafengwo)  

On 21 March 2018, Mafengwo, the company behind 5 of the most popular Chinese travel apps for photos, sports, language learning, and reading, released a report on the use of sites and apps by Chinese travellers.

(Mafengwo’s App Portfolio)

To help you understand the data and usage behavior of Chinese outbound travellers, we’ve put together a comprehensive report analysis by app type:

  1. Travel apps
  2. Photo and video apps
  3. Sports apps
  4. Language apps
  5. Reading apps

(Source: Mangfengwo data research center)

Part 1: Travel Apps

Sample: Mafengwo users

Finding: Tourists focus on attractions, guides, and food

During their trips, Chinese travellers open Mafengwo travel apps an average of 5.6 times/day. The most popular content is practical, and content popularity ranks as follows:

  1. Attractions
  2. Guides
  3. Food
  4. Travel
  5. Hotels
  6. Local experience
  7. Shopping
  8. Q&A
  9. Recommended tour routes
  10. Entertainment

10 AM and 10 PM are the peak times that users open Mangfengwo travel apps—when travelling to sightsee in the morning and relaxing at the hotel before bed, travellers browse attractions for the upcoming or next day(s).

The second most popular times to browse are 11 AM and 4 PM—getting ready for lunch and dinner, people look for nearby restaurants.

(Data source: Mangfengwo data research center)

Part 2: Photo + Video Apps

Sample: BeautyCam & Mafengwo app users

Finding: Nearly 70% of tourists use photo and video apps, and spend on average 14 mins editing photos before posting on social media.

68% of people prefer photo apps over their own cameras. 42% of people have downloaded at least one app to edit pictures and videos.

Before sharing travel photos to social media, travellers spend an average of 14 minutes editing photos. While 55% of travelers edit within 5 minutes, 20% spend at least 30 minutes editing. 19% of travelers share directly without editing.

(Data source: Mangfengwo & BeautyCam app)


Users like to shoot short videos and share them in real-time.

(Data source: Mangfengwo & BeautyCam app)

Part 3: Sports Apps

Sample: Keep & Mafengwo app users

Finding: More than 50% of users maintain their fitness regimens during their trip, with an average daily exercise time of 29 minutes

54% of people who usually exercise still do so while travelling, but only 25% of these people exercise every day during their trip. They go to the hotel gym or swimming pool, or jog in the city streets, but they don’t spend as much time as usual. 56% of people exercise for less than 30 minutes, and 39% exercise from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Only 4% exercise for more than 1 hour.

(Data source: Mangfengwo & Keep app)

(Data source: Mangfengwo & Keep app)

Compared to the 80s and 90s, we’ve slightly lowered our self-discipline!

(Data source: Mangfengwo & Keep app)


Walking, jogging, and weight training are the most popular ways to exercise during travel.

(Data source: Mangfengwo & Keep app)

The favorite jogging cities abroad are Tokyo, Singapore, Paris, Los Angeles, Chinese Taipei, Melbourne, Kyoto, Osaka, Phuket, and Bali. People spend an average of 40 minutes per day jogging, burning an average of 365 kcal.

(Data source: Mangfengwo & Keep app)


People prefer hotels with gyms, but only 40% will actually use them.

(Data source: Mangfengwo & Keep app)

Part 4: Language Learning Apps

Sample: Hujiang & Mafengwo app users

Finding: Nearly 50% of users want to learn the local language during travel. When communicating with local people, users mainly rely on dictionary/translation tools to express themselves.

During travel, 48% of users want to learn the local language. 59% of those users maintain regular language learning habits. 22% learn common vocabulary, 12% prepare for an exam, and 6% learn just to kill time on the way to their destination.

Most users choose to learn language when they are resting at the hotel, taking transit, waiting in line, and/or going to the bathroom.

(Data source: Mangfengwo & hujiang app)

(Data source: Mangfengwo & hujiang dictionary app)

Part 5: Reading Apps

Sample: WeChat reading & Mafengwo app users

Finding: 90% of users like reading books during travel. People who read economic management books travel more often than those who don’t read that genre.

People who usually read still do so during travel. 45% of people often read books during travel, while 48% occasionally read books and only 7% don’t at all. During travel, the most popular book categories are novel (59%), literature (46%), travel (35%), history (28%), and biography (18%).

(Data source: Mangfengwo & WeChat Reading app)

(Data source: Mangfengwo & WeChat Reading app)


People who travel 4 times or more per year are more likely to read books while travelling. 61% of users who travel 4 times or more per year read 3 or more books per month. 38% of users who travel only once per year read 3 or more books per month.

People who travel 4 times or more per year are most likely to read (in order):

  1. Economic management (38%)
  2. Successful studies (30%)
  3. Technology (23%)
  4. Tourism (26%)
  5. Healthcare (16%)
  6. Foreign language books (15%)

In recent years, tourism has become a bigger part of Chinese life. The report shows us that a new generation of traveller has developed a unique travel style completely different from the older generation. Their daily living habits shape their tourism consumption decisions.

With this new tourism era, self-funded travel has become mainstream. Personalized and customizable itineraries make it easier for people to embrace travel independently.

We can help you target the huge Chinese tourism demographic. Get in touch.

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