China Outbound - May 2013
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The Chinese outbound market has become a potent force within the global tourism industry. This report will give you fast, easy access to robust information from analysis and critical recommendations – so you can make the right decisions, at the right time. It will challenge routine thinking by providing you with fresh, new perspectives that energize your thought process.
The Chinese outbound market has become a potent force within the global tourism industry. Chinese tourists are bound to become the largest source of tourism in the world by 2015, five years earlier than the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) predicted nearly a decade ago. Expenditure among Chinese travellers is also on the rise, especially in long-haul destinations, including Europe and the US. Despite the global recession and sluggish economic growth at home, the Chinese are showing more willingness to travel abroad and spend their hard-earned cash than their Western counterparts. In fact, as highlighted by the UNWTO, the Chinese are now the biggest spenders on travel and tourism globally. Encouraged by the strength of their currency, Chinese tourists spent a record US$102 billion in 2012 – 40% more than in 2011.
Simultaneously, the market has evolved into distinctive segments. First-time travellers, who fit the antiquated stereotype of the atypical Chinese tourist, still constitute the bulk of tourism traffic out of China. Dragon Trail, a social-media research company, believes that there will be an average of 25 million first-time Chinese travellers every year, or 70,000 every day, for the next ten years. These individuals still require a fair amount of hand holding from travel agents, and they are apt to travel just over the border to Hong Kong and Macao, mainly in groups. On the other hand, the proportion of experienced Chinese holidaymakers is expanding, and this segment naturally possesses a whole different set of needs and desires. This new breed of savvy, independent travellers generally desire novel experiences and have few qualms with forking out for this privilege.
Despite the progress achieved over the last ten years, China’s outbound travel industry is still in its infancy. Fewer than 7% of its population have actually ventured abroad and travel remains very much a discretionary expense for most, secondary to buying a property or owing a car. China remains a land of opportunity for both foreign and domestic travel and hospitality suppliers alike. The rapidly rising demand for outbound travel among Chinese citizens, coupled with the lack of options, certainly represents an enormous and lucrative opportunity for companies within the travel and tourism industry.
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