Steady Growth of Chinese Outbound Tourism

Pat Hyland - Jan 28, 2013
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In the future, China just might become the largest tourism outbound market in the world. Its outbound market is sitting pretty at 1.2 times larger than U.S.A and 3.5 times larger than their neighbor Japan.

In the recent past it has been observed that the number of Chinese citizens travelling abroad is growing day by day, boosted by a market of over 70 million people and a deficit in trade of tourism services of at least $20 billion hitting a new record. China alone has contributed about 30% to the growth in international tourism hence is now considered a steady growth pole in the world tourism economy.

The president of China's tourism research institute Dai Bin said that with a population of nearly 1.4 billion and a steady rise in its economy, the country's outbound tourism is still to reach its full potential.

An investigation carried out in 2011 about outbound tourists found out that approximately 65% of all tourists are young or middle aged individuals between 25-44 years old. Also 70% of all tourists either had a junior college or bachelor's degree.

Deputy Director of tourism promotion and international Contact Department of National tourism Administration, Zhang Xinhong noted that even though economic situation in the world is unstable, turbulent situations in other areas are aggravating and unknown factors in global tourism are on the increase. China's outbound tourism already maintains a high momentum. The rate of consumption and number of its people who toured abroad hit an all-time high hence increasingly promoting the world's tourism industry.

Presently, China established organized tour ventures with 113 regions and countries; this has led to the number of its outbound visitors growing by 22% year-on-year. The number of unofficial tours abroad accounted for 91% of this growth.

Zhang continued to say that rapid growth in China's outbound tourism provide powerful driving force and also contribute to recovery of the world's tourism industry. China has played a role in promoting the global status of Chinese tourism industry, not only strengthening influence in international tourism organization but also boosting trade exchanges propelling Chinese culture forward.

With flourishing outbound market, some structural changes are being noted i.e. despite Asia being the preferred destination of Chinese visitors, other regions and countries have started receiving Chinese tourists. Among these regions are Africa, Oceania and the Americas, said Dai Bin.

Number of visitors on holidays started to increase by up to 37% or a growth rate of 4% year-on-year. Island tourism is now a main force in driving growth of holiday tourists backed up by convenient visa services and high cost performance. With the growth of the Chinese economy and shifting of global tanker industry to the east, Chinese tourists have embraced passenger liners as a tool for transport.

A survey report showed that shopping has become a crucial impetus promoting consumption of Chinese outbound visitors. Nearly a third of all Chinese tourists believed that shopping is what takes a large chunk of their money. The world luxury association's data shows that 75% of Chinese tourists spend repeatedly at least three times while on holiday.

Chinese outbound tourists spent an equivalent of a domestic market's sales in three months on luxury products in just a week during the golden week in 2011. According to Global Blue's data, 68% of Chinese outbound visitors spent between 21-50% of their budget on shopping while 25% of them spent 51-80% of their budget on shopping.

The marketing manager of Global Blue in North China, Zhang Wei noted that expenditure on shopping had increased by 58% from 2011 with average spending in Europe being 10,000 euros. This has made Chinese tourists the leading shopping group followed by Japan and Russia respectively.

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