- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 30th September 2015
- boost, chinese, cotri, tourism, tourists
China has become the largest source of travel in the world, with traveller numbers up 20% to 109 million in 2014. However, the prospects of the outbound Chinese tourism industry have been put into question as the overall economic performance of China in 2014 and the first half of 2015 was characterised by a slowing GDP growth and a global loss of confidence in the ability of China to stay in its role as the locomotive of the global economy. Shares in Chinese stock markets went up, only to start a dramatic downward shift in June 2015.
In spite of these events, COTRI believes that China outbound tourism growth is robust and will continue growing at a fast pace. This is why the 22nd Session of the UNWTO Assembly, the most important global meeting of senior tourism officials and high-level representatives of the private tourism sector, has been granted to China in 2017. According to the UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai “China’s importance as a driver of tourism development cannot be understated. It is not only the world’s fourth most visited country, but the number one source market in the world, as well as a prominent leader in domestic tourism. These numbers, alongside the Chinese authorities continued recognition of tourism as a strategic pillar of the national economy and an effective development tool, make China a fitting host for the next UNWTO General Assembly“.
In this series COTRI presents 7 reasons why the development of the tourism industry will be China-driven.
6. Better flight connections
According to Anna.aero, China is already the leading Asian country market from European airports with around 6.7 million one-way seats this year. The next five biggest markets are all growing at a much slower rate.
Air China is the largest carrier linking China and Europe and is the fastest-growing airlines in the market. Four Chinese carriers are ranked on the top 8 airlines with all four growing above average. 22 airlines are in the market, 4 more than last summer 2014.
The best news is that number of direct scheduled flight connections from China’s second and third tier cities to Europe has been growing considerably in the past years. Kunming airport, with its direct flight to Paris CDG, makes the 14th Chinese city with a non-stop flight to the old continent.
7. Different mindset
The travel motivation for large segments of the Chinese outbound tourists is to gain prestige and to be able to become part of the social group of Chinese who have been travelling abroad. John Wang, owner of John’s Information Service and Café in Dunhuang, says that “in the past when Chinese people saw foreign tourists, they thought they're crazy to spend money in travel, like they're masochistic”. Professor Arlt, on a recent post on his Forbes blog, affirms that “international travel has already become a firm part of the consumption pattern of everybody who is anybody in China”.
One of the most sought-after destinations is the USA. Joining the ‘privileged club’ of people who have visited the US brings a certain social status to Chinese people among their peer groups.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute provides expert insights into the worldwide developments of China’s outbound tourism market. As Chinese outbound tourists are travelling to a large range of destinations, our publications cover a number of different regions. Important Chinese visitor activities are analysed, and detailed insights are presented.
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