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Chinese outbound tourism far outpaces inbound travel in recent decade

07/07/2017| 12:09:39 PM| 中文

Some 128 million mainland tourists went abroad in 2015, a 312.9% increase over 2005. Yet over the same decade, inbound tourism only rose by 11.2%.

Outbound tourism from mainland China has grown and far outpacing its inbound tourism, a report from think tank Center for China & Globalization (CCG) and travel giant Ctrip revealed July 5.

According to the report, 128 million mainland tourists went abroad in 2015, a 312.9% increase over 2005. Yet over the same decade, inbound tourism only rose by 11.2%, an average 1% per year.

This has created a 30 million person "deficit" for tourism to the mainland, according to the report. The growth of inbound tourism also was left behind by the 81.3% growth of inbound tourism to the Asia-Pacific region.

CCG secretary general Lv Miao said that inconvenient visa applications, poor English translations and lack of qualified public facilities such as nursing rooms and disabled bathrooms may lead to overseas tourists looking elsewhere for vacations. 

Huiyao Wang, founder and president of CCG, said that the mainland's tourism woes are more a "software" problem than a "hardware" one.

Among all the issues the mainland is confronted with, visas may be the biggest. While a number of countries offer Chinese citizens multi-year travel visas to boost tourism, the mainland does not have a similar program.

Ctrip senior vice president Bo Sun pointed out another issue: The lack of tourism promotion for the mainland in other countries.

He noted that tourism bureaus from other countries and regions often reach out to Chinese travel agencies such as Ctrip to localize their advertisements and figure out the best means to reach Chinese customers.

Sun recommended that Chinese regional travel bureaus should learn from their overseas counterparts by reaching out to other markets. He emphasized that this is particularly important since the information about different areas in the mainland that exists overseas tends to be incomplete or outright wrong. 

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TAGS: outbound tourism | inbound tourism | China
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