Top 5 Douyin KOLs Fueling China’s Travel Economy

“Special forces travel” is trending on Douyin, with young tourists packing their itineraries with as many experiences as possible. Discover the top five bloggers fueling China’s travel spree.

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China’s travel industry is steadily recovering from the pandemic. A three-year backlog of travel desires is being fulfilled, and enthusiasm for travel continues to rise.

The number of domestic tourists is expected to reach 5.5 billion this year and domestic tourism revenue is forecast to exceed $690 billion (5 trillion RMB), according to a recent analysis report from the China Tourism Research Academy.

Luxury brands and beauty players are betting on a domestic travel surge. Domestic tourists and tourism revenue will recover to 90 percent and 80 percent of the level just before the pandemic, the report predicts.

This summer, Louis Vuitton took over Xiamen’s iconic Huangcuo Beach to create a resort pop-up store comprising a Louis Vuitton bookstore and unique dining experience. Last year, Valentino Pink PP debuted in the beachside Aranya neighborhood in Qinhuangdao with several installations, painting some of the coastal city’s landmark spots fuchsia. Meanwhile, together with Douyin, Chinese makeup brand Florasis launched a purple-themed pop-up in Yunnan’s Dali, one of the hottest travel destinations among young consumers in recent years.

Leading travel booking platforms Qunar and Xiaohongshu recently released 2023’s travel trends. Chinese residents are increasingly personalizing their trips according to their hobbies, such as by integrating food tasting, art and countryside experiences into their itineraries.

The domestic market has matured, and travelers are trying new leisure experiences such as beach resorts, skiing trips, and staycations in home cities, McKinsey says in its China tourism outlook report published in May.

Jing Daily identifies the top five travel KOLs on short video platform Douyin who are inspiring tourists’ choice of experiences and destinations. Most of these influencers were determined by follower growth according to data provided by Launchmetrics, covering the period from April 31, 2023, to July 31, 2023, and are ranked by media impact value.

Travel bloggers like Betty, Kiki and September are seen by many white collar employees working grueling schedules as shining examples of the joy travel brings. Their “healing videos” (治愈视频), a nod to Chinese youth’s increasing demand for mental and physical well-being, are growing in popularity.

Kiki @房琪kiki

Followers on Douyin: 23 million

Average MIV (Media Impact Value): $117,040 (847,311 RMB)

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