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Mainland Chinese are now traveling farther than Great China

08/19/2016| 5:53:14 PM|

Chinese tourist arrivals to destinations beyond Greater China regions (53.3% of the total) exceeded those to the regions in Q2 2016 for the first time.

Mainland Chinese made 18 million outbound trips to destinations beyond Greater China from April to May 2016, according to data from COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute. 

Yet the Greater China region (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) posted only 15.8 million arrivals from mainland China in Q2 2016, down by 3.7% YoY from 2015’s 16.4 million. 

For the first time, Chinese tourist arrivals to destinations beyond Greater China (53.3% of the total) exceeded those to the Greater China region.

A total of 33.8 million border-crossings were made from mainland China in Q2 2016, representing a 4.32% YoY increase of 2015’s equivalent figure of 32.4 million. 

YoY growth in total Chinese outbound trips has remained single digit, while double-digit results had previously been the norm.

Total arrival in the three Greater China destinations dropped, yet Macao has in fact seen modest year-on-year growth of 0.9% in Q2 2016. The city attracted 4.8 million arrivals from the Chinese mainland, after a drop-off in 2015 amidst Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign.

Hong Kong newspaper SCMP reported that mainland Chinese tourists are returning to Hong Kong, but are shifting their shopping patterns with tighter budgets.

The total number of tourists climbed in July for the first time in over 14 months, up 2.6% from the same period last year, according to the latest figures from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB).

The Greater China area continues to see sluggish arrival numbers, while other regional short-haul destinations are booming.

South Korea registered a record 2.1 million Chinese arrivals in Q2, representing a year-on-year increase of 36.3%. Japan similarly saw a strong growth rate as Chinese arrival numbers reached 1.6 million in Q2 2016, 27.8% higher than 2015’s equivalent figure.

For long-haul destinations, COTRI research reveals a more mixed picture. Europe has seen weak growth in Chinese arrivals due to concerns about terrorist attacks. However, alternative destinations such as New Zealand received 26.5% more Chinese tourist arrivals than Q2 2015. 

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TAGS: outbound tourism | China | Europe
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