Beyond COTTM: a long way to go..

by silvia.spessato

categories Activities Report


.. in understanding Chinese travelers’ needs
Official numbers from the COTTM 2014 tourism fair, held in Beijing from April 9th to 10th, have been released. Four hundred exhibitors from 65 different countries and 3,000 outbound tour operators from all over China – over 60% more high-end buyers than in previous shows – were present; exhibitor’s satisfaction level was 97%. Welcome Chinese joined the event for the first time and held approximately 100 conversations a day with Chinese buyers.

REAL NUMBERS TO BE CONSIDERED - “This well-established exhibition has now become the leading brand in the industry,” stated Mr. Dai Bin, head of the Chinese Tourism Academy (CTA), the main governmental partner of Welcome Chinese. “This was definitely the best show yet,” commented Prof. Wolfgang Arlt from COTRI, the leading study center for Chinese outbound tourism who was a partner of the fair. Interviewed by Travel Weekly, Arlt examined the topic in depth: “Less than 5% of Chinese citizens are reported to own a passport. The 97 million border crossings in 2013 should not be confused with 97 million travelers;” work trips to border towns must be considered in this number.

TRAVEL AS AN INVESTMENT IN PRESTIGE – For the Chinese, Artl explained, “ travel is first of all an investment – in prestige, in gaining knowledge, in social standing as well as in self-esteem, and sometimes also in getting an education or buying property,” while leisure travel is still mainly directed to nearby destinations. Widely accepted forecasts predict that border crossings will top 200 million by 2020. The main obstacle to this development is the fact that, in most cases, Chinese citizens must go to the embassy or consulate of the country they wish to visit to ask for a visa as a pre-requisite for traveling there. Visas upon arrival are granted by only 45 countries and regions, meaning that China ranks 82nd in this particular world chart.

NOT ENOUGH SIGNS IN MANDARIN - The “Chinese Outbound Tourism Satisfaction Investigation” for the first quarter of 2014, released by CTA, took into consideration 22 countries. It confirmed that the lack of information, service and public signs in Mandarin remains a major concern, together with the precarious “sense of security” that many Chinese travelers have when abroad. Interviews with returning travelers were used to establish their satisfaction level with foreign countries; 75 points out of 100 was considered a good score. New Zealand and the US ranked over 83, topping the chart, while Britain, Italy and France scored 80 and 81. Among other Western destinations, Germany, Japan and Spain ranked 79 and Russia 78. The average score was high, at 78,92.

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Commented by Bill Frankish, 29.08.2017

We at the Candlewood Suites Calgary Airport North, closely located to the Calgary airport YYC, have been certified by the China Tourism Academy as having reached the JADE STANDARD of "Welcome Chinese" Certification. As such we greet each guest with a special Welcome envelope with Chinese information on our extended stay hotel. Guests receive slippers, tea, and have access to kettles and rice cookers at no charge. Some items are available in our little convenience store called The Cupboard, and there is a Chinese Super Market about 2 kilometers away which has a full selection of food items, commonly found in China, including live fish. Also at the same shopping area, an authentic Chinese Restaurant called The T. Pot , China Bistro From our location we have easy access to main highways to take you to Banff National Park, or the Royal Tyrrell Museum, an excellent Dinosaur museum. Candlewood Suites is an excellent location with cooking facilities which provides a great home base as you travel to various attractions in the area.