Attractive Visa Policies and Cooler Weather Help Bring Chinese Tourists to Africa
- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 22nd August 2017
- Addis Ababa, Africa, Air Leisure, Aswan, Changsha, Chengdu, ctrip, Egypt, Ethiopian Airlines, eVisas, kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia, visa-free arrival policy, visa-on-arrival
Numerous African destinations are seeing a boom in Chinese tourists as relaxed visa policies and the desire to escape Chinese weather are helping to drive arrival numbers.
Morocco has notably seen a 500 percent year-on-year increase in Chinese arrivals this summer, after the introduction of a visa-free arrival policy for Chinese nationals last year helped cements its status as a popular destination for travellers from China. Tunisia and Mauritius have also notably scrapped tourist visa requirements for Chinese passport holders, while other destinations including Tanzania, Madagascar and Egypt have additionally introduced visa-on-arrival policies.
Many Southern Hemisphere African countries, as well as cooler destinations in the east of the continent, are benefitting from an influx of visitors looking to escape high temperatures during the Chinese summer.
Kenya, for example, which allows Chinese tourists to apply for eVisas online, has seen a year-on-year growth in Chinese visitors of 100 percent this summer. While the country suffered declines in Chinese arrival numbers in the wake of the misplaced fear that it was affected by the 2014 Ebola crisis in western Africa, its strong destination image as a safari destination has helped it recover as a tourist destination for Chinese outbound travellers. Other destinations have benefitted from being associated with major films, including not only international hits such as Casablanca and the Star Wars series, but also current Chinese blockbuster Wolf Warriors 2, much of which was filmed in Africa.
An additional driver of this growth in Chinese outbound tourism to Africa has been the rising number of direct flight connections between African destinations and China. Ethiopian Airlines added a new connection between Addis Ababa and Chengdu in May, while Air Leisure notably opened a route between Hunan capital Changsha and Aswan in Egypt.
According to leading Chinese online travel agency Ctrip, Mauritius is currently the most popular African destination for Chinese outbound travellers in terms of bookings, with Egyptian capital Cairo and Morocco’s Casablanca coming in second and third place respectively.
In terms of average spending, Ctrip announced that Chinese outbound tourists will spend approximately 3,600 USD on trips to southern and eastern Africa and approximately 2,300 USD in northern African destinations.
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Source: China Daily