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


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

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A PDF download of this article is available at the following link


Pigs can fly – Manchester Airport wins CTW Award for welcoming Chinese travellers

Awards presented at ITB China in Shanghai to 30 companies and organisations

Shanghai, 17.5.2019. For the 16th time the COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, based in Hamburg and Shanghai, has named tourism service providers from all continents as winners of the CTW Chinese Tourist Welcome Awards.

China is by far the biggest international tourism outbound travel source market and with the growing experience of Chinese travellers, destinations and tourism companies have to be more and more specific in their preparations for this group of customers.

In 2019, the CTW Award was presented for the second year running by COTRI in partnership with Ctrip, the major Online Travel Agency in China. The CTW Award is given in five categories, including Innovation, Marketing, Service Quality, Internet/Media and Overall performance. The organisers received more applications than ever before, which led the jury to decide that this year for the first time, beside the usual gold, silver and bronze awards, two more honorary awards were distributed. Altogether 30 companies and organisations from almost 20 different countries appeared on the stage at the ITB China in Shanghai to receive the award.

The Gold Winners included Albatros Expeditions, a Danish company specialised in bringing Chinese to Arctic and Antarctic surroundings, Viking, a river cruise company which transports Chinese travellers with an all-Chinese crew along the Danube, as well as the  Tourism Boards of South Africa and Peru for their outstanding marketing and use of internet. The Airport of Manchester snatched the Overall performance award with their long-standing support of the Chinese market and their Year-of-the-Pig mascot. Each of the Gold winners gave a presentation to the more than 100 tourism professionals in the audience about their achievements.

There were also many remarkable examples of the right way to address and cater for Chinese visitors among the other winners. Those being Compass Edge, a Hong Kong based provider of specialised WeChat mini-programs for hotels or a small Portuguese company which sells to Chinese visitors the experience of a clear and unpolluted night sky as it will never be seen in the big Chinese cities. Dubai Duty Free and Dubai Tourism also received awards, and many more.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director of COTRI: “It is encouraging to see that more and more tourism service providers on all continents are showing a deeper understanding of the specific needs and wants of the different kind of Chinese travellers. However, there is still more work to do as the expectations of Chinese are growing with the level of experience.”

Ctrip, the partner of COTRI, is the largest Online Travel Agency in China and a pioneer for the major trend in Chinese outbound tourism in 2019: Customization. This approach lies in the middle between package tours with strangers following a fixed schedule and FITs who have to spend a lot of time to plan everything for themselves.

The next CTW Award will be held in May 2020. A complete list of winners can be found on

Contact Ctrip: International, ltd.


Tel: (+86) 21 3406 4880 ext 196455,


Contact COTRI:

COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute


Tel. (+49) 481 8555 523,


Hong Kong / Hamburg 14th May 2019


SHTM Joins Hands with China Outbound Tourism Research Institute to Offer New Online Training Programme for the Chinese Outbound Tourism Market

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) are joining hands to offer a new online training programme – the China Tourism Training (CTT). Aiming to become the Global Standard training in Chinese outbound tourism market, the CTT will offer five different tracks for tourism service providers.

According to COTRI’s forecast, 180 million trips will originate from Mainland China in 2019. With such large number, the market is obviously more and more fragmented, and different tourism service providers would need specific advice and insights into this important market.

Based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year, COTRI and the SHTM jointly offer the CTT, targeting tourism and hospitality professionals worldwide working with the Chinese market. Participants who succeed in passing the assessment will be awarded a verified university certification.

The CTT online training programme offers practical information about the Chinese outbound tourism market in five branch-specific tracks, namely Hospitality, Destinations, Retail, Attractions and Transportation. The first one, CTT Hospitality, is now offered online; while the other four will be launched in the coming months.

Professor Kaye Chon, Dean and Chair Professor of the SHTM and Walter Kwok Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management, said, “The SHTM and COTRI are long-standing partners in hospitality and tourism education and research. The establishment of the CTT online programme provides an innovative platform on which hospitality and tourism service providers will be able to benefit from an advanced and specialised training and educational programme with global perspectives. Capitalising on the diverse talents of our School’s international faculty, we are confident that our partnership with COTRI will contribute to the development of China tourism and the entire global industry in the years to come.”

Professor Wolfgang Georg Arlt, Director of COTRI, added, “We are very proud to have the SHTM as our partner. In line with the practical orientation of the education provided at the SHTM, the CTT programme concentrates on Best Practice Examples drawn from a wide range of high-level industry sources from many countries. This practical knowledge is given a solid base with lectures by experts and videos featuring Chinese tourists talking about their needs and expectations.”

The verified university certificate awarded to CTT participants will be a valuable proof of their special skills and abilities in working with the Chinese market. They will also become members of the CTT Alumni Network (CTTAN) and can apply for the membership of the prestigious SHTM Alumni Association.

For more information on the CTT online training programme, please visit:

About School of Hotel and Tourism Management

For 40 years, PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management has refined a distinctive vision of hospitality and tourism education and become a world-leading hotel and tourism school. Rated No. 1 in the world in the “Hospitality and Tourism Management” category according to ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2018, placed No. 1 globally in the “Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services” category in the University Ranking by Academic Performance in 2017/2018, and ranked No. 1 in the world in the “Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism” subject area by the CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017, the SHTM is a symbol of excellence in the field, exemplifying its motto of Leading Hospitality and Tourism.

The School is driven by the need to serve its industry and academic communities through the advancement of education and dissemination of knowledge. With 75 academic staff drawing from 22 countries and regions, the SHTM offers programmes at levels ranging from undergraduate degrees to doctoral degrees. Through Hotel ICON, the School’s groundbreaking teaching and research hotel and a vital aspect of its paradigm-shifting approach to hospitality and tourism education, the SHTM is advancing teaching, learning and research, inspiring a new generation of passionate, pioneering professionals to take their positions as leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry.


COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, based in Hamburg and Beijing, is one of the leading research institution for the Chinese outbound market and has been working for companies and governments around the word for more than 15 years, including training more than 2,000 tourism practitioners.

Contact:, Tel. +49 40 558 99 576

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