Chinese tourism annihilated all records in 2015

by Welcome Chinese

categories China Market China News

tags china economy Europe tourism Welcome Chinese 


The number of international tourists from China has markedly increased in the past two decades; a continued growth that is due to an increase in household income and discretionary time.

NO SLOWDOWN AT ALL - Since the early 2000s, outbound Chinese tourism has been growing vigorously. Still, the 2015 data indicate a sharp acceleration. Mandarin-speaking tourists spent $215bn outside mainland China, a 53% rise from the €123bn (US$140bn) spent in 2014. The source is the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). This has been the biggest annual in the history of the country. The economic slowdown that hit the financial markets of Shanghai and Shenzhen in mid-2015 totally failed to affect the surge in travel. Once Chinese tourists have started to travel, they are reluctant to give it up and it quickly becomes a habit.

EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS ON THE RISE - Japan was the only destination in Northeast Asia to show an increase in the number of Chinese tourists last year (+37%). The situation allowed Europe to profit from strong numbers of Chinese visitors: Germany – a classic destination – consolidated its top position, while the UK, which invested heavily in communication with the aim of enlarging Mandarin-speaking inbound tourism, saw the first fruits of its commitment.

PREMIUM PRODUCTS - While 29% of Chinese tourists still choose their destination based on shopping opportunities, a McKinsey report argued that this is changing rapidly. The days of fast, broad-based growth are ending, as consumers become more selective about what they spend their money on. Chinese consumers are increasingly focusing their spending on trading up for premium products instead of mass products. A tailored trip, organized under the direct control of the individual traveler, is a kind of premium product.

CHINA’S INBOUND TOURISM - Chinese inbound tourism, instead, displayed a much slower growth. According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the number of foreign tourists visiting China rose to 56.9m in 2015, just 1.1% over 2014. The travel and tourism sector accounted for 7.9% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015. China’s hospitality industry, already the 2nd-largest after that of the US, is expected to expand by 7% a year over the next decade, catching up with the US by 2024.

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Commented by Bill Frankish, 29.08.2017

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