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China’s outbound tourism slumps due to weaker yuan

08/09/2016| 8:18:01 PM|

The growth rate of Chinese outbound visitors is slowing, up only 4.3% year on year to 59 million in the first half of 2016 due to weaker yuan.

The weaker yuan has slowed growth in China’s outbound tourism, with the yuan down more than 7% against the US dollar since its one-off devaluation in August last year.

Data from the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) shows that the growth rate of Chinese outbound visitors is slowing, up only 4.3% year on year to 59 million in the first half of 2016 – the slowest growth in the past six years and the first time it has fallen to single-digit levels in that period.

Chinese arrivals dropped the most in Hong Kong. Mainland visitors to the city declined 4% year on year in June, with an 8% decline in May. For the first half of 2016, the number fell 10.6% to 20.42 million compared with the same period a year earlier.

GF Securities analyst Albert Yip expects Chinese visitor numbers to Hong Kong will rebound because the Japanese yen and South Korean Won continue to rise and European countries are haunted by terrorism.

However, Chinese domestic tourism still remains strong as it is not affected by the weakening yuan. The first half of 2016 saw domestic tourist volume increase 10.5% to 2.2 billion travellers.

For the second half of 2016, CNTA expects the growth rate of outbound visitors to drop to 3.9% year on year while domestic visitor numbers will grow 10% for the same period.

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TAGS: outbound travel | China
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