Nik Fes - Nov 12, 2018
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Chinese tourists are the present and future of the tourism industry. Every region is fighting for the appreciation of Chinese visitors. Last year, China accounted for 143 million of all international trips, while in 2000 it was only 10 million. According to data, the Asia-Pacific region has benefited most from this big travelling boom in China.

“Chinese outbound tourism, like its Japanese counterpart a generation ago, has had a transformative effect on Southeast Asia’s tourism industry,” Leon Perera, CEO of Spire Research and Consulting told ECNS.

Thai tourism to become key to economy

Thailand is one of the countries that has felt the great effects of increasing numbers of Chinese tourists. Last year, 9.8 million tourists from China arrived to Thailand. This accounted to 27.7% of all arrivals from abroad and an enormous increase from the 1.7 million Chinese who visited Thailand in 2011.

According to local experts, tourism can become one of the key parts of the Thai economy, as spending of international tourists in the countries has reached about $56 billion per year. Taking into account that the Thai GDP last year was $455 billion, international tourism has an important position in the country’s economy.

Chinese overtake Australians in Bali

But Chinese people are spreading their interest even to other countries and regions, for example Bali. Australia is traditionally the main source market of the Indonesian destination, but in 2017, 10.9 million Australians (1.14 million in 2016) visited the country, while 1.39 million Chinese tourists arrived.

Vietnam has registered 3.8 million arrivals from China from January to September this year. This is an increase of 29.7% compared to the same period last year. The overall number of international arrivals was 11.6 million, which means almost one-third of them were from China.

Japan is another country which can only talk of positives of the influx of Chinese tourists. The number of international visitors has grown significantly. In 2009, 6.8 million tourists arrived to Japan, while last year it was 28.7 million, also thanks to the phenomenon discussed. The number of Chinese visitors rose up to 7.36 million in 2017, despite being at only 1 million 8 years ago. In 2017, arrivals from China accounted to 25.6% of all arrivals.

Almost half of South Korean arrivals from China

The impact of Chinese visitors can also not be overlooked in South Korea. 46.8% of all arrivals in the country in 2016 were made by Chinese visitors. Meanwhile, 1.3 million Chinese tourists arrived to Australia last year, spending over $8 billion. The increase in visits to Australia accounts to 14% compared to the year before.

Experts predict that the annual per capita GDP in China will continue to rise greatly and can reach $22,000 by 2028. This would further increase the magnitude of the tourism boom and could spread it for a longer period. According to the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Chinese tourists will continue to have a big influence on the market in the region and should account to 40% of the Asia-Pacific market soon.

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