The existing literature has often represented Chinese tourists in broad and stereotypical ways, as a new generation of bumbling camera‐waving tourists showing minimal regard for the local environments that they encounter. However, as Chinese have become more experienced travellers, they have diversified and changed their behaviours. Among these various changes, an increasing number of Chinese tourists have begun exploring second‐tier destinations. By focussing on Chinese travellers to less visited second‐tier destinations, this paper goes beyond the stereotypical representations of this fast‐maturing market. It illustrates the heterogeneity of Chinese tourism, and its advantages for second‐tier European destinations.