COTRI is recognised by global media as one of the major sources for information about China’s outbound tourism. Articles written by COTRI’s director Prof. Arlt have been featured in newspapers like China Daily and trade magazines like Travel Weekly. COTRI is regularly quoted by CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, The Economist, Financial Times, International New York Times, South China Morning Post, etc., as well as by online and offline trade publications.
COTRI regularly sends media packages and press releases to partners in the media.
COTRI’s media packages contain a rich selection of insights on certain topics related to China outbound tourism trends and developments, and include graphs, statistics and other data that enable journalists to produce accurate, research-based reporting on Chinese outbound tourism.
In addition to the media packages, COTRI also provides press releases to keep media partners up to date with the latest news related to COTRI.
All this content is provided free of charge.
To be added to COTRI’s press database, please send an email to email@example.com
The merging of the China National Tourism Administration and the Ministry of Culture speaks volumes about Beijing’s view towards the role of outbound travel
Last week, the world of Chinese outbound tourism changed. Not only was Xi Jinping reappointed as president of China by all 2,970 members of the National People’s Congress (NPC), with no more limit on the number of terms he can serve, a major change also took place for tourism. On the 13th of March State Councillor Wang Yong announced that within the institutional restructuring plan of the State Council the Ministry of Culture and CNTA China National Tourism Administration are to be merged into a new Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The move, according to the official announcement, “… is aimed at coordinating the development of cultural and tourism industries, enhancing the country’s soft power and cultural influence, and promoting cultural exchanges internationally”.
There had been rumours for many years that the CNTA would either be upgraded to full ministry status or that it would be swallowed up by the Ministry of Culture. It seems that, assuming that the State Council plan will not encounter any opposition in the NPC, the Ministry of Culture now has won this battle.
For outbound tourism it is very interesting that “enhancing [China’s] soft power and cultural influence and promoting cultures exchanges internationally” are the main arguments, pointing clearly towards outbound tourism as opposite to domestic or inbound tourism. It also spells out in remarkably clear words what China’s outbound tourism is all about from the government’s point of view: Soft power and increased influence. Good news therefore about this confirmation of the ongoing support of the Chinese government for outbound tourism despite the hundreds of billions of USD deficit when considering the spending by Chinese travellers abroad compared to the spending of international visitors to China and the anti-hedonism campaign still going on in many other fields.
The history of the CNTA dates back to 1964, when it was established within CITS China International Travel Service. At this stage, government function and enterprise management was combined; CNTA and CITS had different names but shared the same staff. In 1982, as part of the policy of separation of enterprise from administration, CITS became specialised in all travel-related service, while CNTA concentrated on national tourism management. Still, CNTA still has been until now commercially active, for instance as the organiser of CITM China International Travel Market, the main Chinese tourism fair.
What will happen to Dr. Li Jinzao – the CNTA chairman who has worked tirelessly to put Chinese tourism as a topic onto the national and international agenda – remains to be seen. He might fully concentrate in the future on his role within the recently-established WTA World Tourism Alliance, of which he is the official “founder” according to the WTA website.
Certainly, with Xi Jinping moving closer to being the new “emperor” of China, and tourism finally given ministerial status, the fundamentals of China’s outbound tourism have changed more than ever since the introduction of the ADS Approved Destination Status system in 1995 and the 1997 proclamation of the “Provisional measures concerning the administration of outbound travel of Chinese citizens at their own expense”, which for the first time officially recognised the existence of the wish of Chinese citizens to travel internationally for leisure purposes.
As COTRI has been saying for years: China’s outbound tourism – You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt
To read this Editorial and others in this series, please subscribe to the COTRI Weekly at paper.li/COTRIWeekly
A PDF download of this article is available at the following link
COTRI publishes Chinese outbound tourist arrival data for Q3 2018
Hamburg 21.11.2018. COTRI has released its latest Chinese outbound tourism data for Q3 2018, revealing strong year-on-year growth compared with Q3 2017, albeit at a slower rate than seen in the first two quarters of 2018.
The third quarter of the year saw 43 million border crossings made by Chinese nationals worldwide. Among this figure, 20 million arrivals were recorded within the Greater China region (Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan), while the remaining 23 million – 53% of the total – were made in destinations around the rest of the world.
Overall, Q3 2018’s 43 million border crossings represent a 10% year-on-year increase against 2017’s results, while Q1 and Q2 2018’s year-on-year growth rates were 17% and 16% respectively.
COTRI’s recent results bring the total for the first three quarters of 2018 to a combined 123 million border crossings worldwide, a figure 14% higher than 2017’s equivalent. Should Q4 2017’s 37 million Chinese arrivals be matched, COTRI’s forecast total of 160 million annual border crossings for 2018 will be reached. However, factoring in a year-on-year increase of 10% as seen in Q3 2018, this total becomes 164 million.
The most-recent quarter’s lower growth in comparison to the figures posted in the first two quarters of the year can be attributed in part to a gradual slowdown in year-on-year increases in Hong Kong following its strong start to 2018, but weak growth in key destinations including Thailand, Australia, Singapore and Germany among others has also impacted results. The US and UK notably have seen dropoffs in Chinese arrivals, with increased political stability and the fear of potential visa issues exacerbating problems.
Among destinations to have seen success in attracting Chinese arrivals in Q3 2018, Nepal stands out as a leading example having recorded 40,000 arrivals for the quarter (YoY +77%) and a total of 110,000 for the year so far. Should the country be able to maintain its positive course, Nepal could well exceed its record high annual arrivals total of 123,000 set in 2014 before the impact of the 2015 earthquake and recent political instability affected its destination image among the Chinese outbound market.
While traveller expenditure data is not yet available for the period, trends suggest that overseas spending has plateaued, if not decreased. This can be attributed to the fact that long-haul destinations have not been able to grow their market share, while shopping is losing its importance as a key activity for Chinese outbound travellers. Furthermore, the continuation of Beijing’s anti-graft campaigns means that growth in expensive overseas purchases such as on luxury goods and real estate is slowing as many travellers exercise caution in their spending.
Further analysis of growth trends in the Chinese outbound travel market, as well as dissection of traveller demographics, purpose of travel, residence and other characteristics can be found within COTRI Analytics.
Frequently updated statistics related to the Chinese outbound market can be found in the China Outbound Latest section of the COTRI website. For further information, or other media enquiries, please contact Christopher Ledsham at firstname.lastname@example.org
To download this COTRI press release, please click here.