Much has been written about China’s free independent travellers (FITs), a growing group of intrepid adventurers who are courted by marketing departments, destinations and designer brands with as much fervour as their coach-taking, tour-guide-trailing counterparts are derided.

Defined as those who take ownership of their itineraries and travel in groups of less than 10, FITs are increasingly young and eager to spend. Oh, and women lead the charge, according to China’s biggest online travel agency, Ctrip.com International.

The 2018 Chinese Travel Consumer Report, published together with Mastercard, found that 58 per cent of independent travellers using Ctrip’s platform are female. This marks a significant shift from 2016, when just 46 per cent of FITs were women. Spending on travel is also 14 per cent higher among female tourists, according to the report.