Destinations court travelers from China’s dominant outbound tourism market
Global destinations in Asia and the US are stepping up efforts to wootravelers as from the world’s top outbound market with major consumption power
Destinations in Asia and the US are stepping up efforts to woo Chinese travelers as various statistics have confirmed China’s dominance as the world’s top outbound market with major consumption power.
UN World Tourism Organization’s latest tourism economy report has confirmed that China remains the world’s largest outbound tourism market for the third year in 2014，with 109 million outbound trips recorded compared with 98 million trips in 2013.
Surging numbers in Chinese outbound tourism
Consulting firm Deloitte anticipates that emerging markets like China will continue to drive the growth in global tourism expenditure that has been growing at above 12% annually since 2009.
Chinese arrivals to Korea grew 3.2 times within five years, from 1.72 million in 2010 to 5.56 million in 2014, and Chinese visitors made up of 44.7% of the total visitor arrivals of 12.682 million in 2014, according to the Korean Ministry of Justice. Credit card expenditure by foreign visitors rose 38.8% y-o-y to over 10.9 trillion won (approx: US$9.9 billion) with Chinese accounting for 62.6% or 6.13 (approx: US$5.6 billion) trillion won, according to a Korean credit report.
Chinese visitor arrivals to the USA have also been booming since the two nations signed a MoU in 2013 to ease restrictions on Chinese tour groups visiting the USA. Last year 2.18 million Chinese visited the USA, contributing US$21.1 billion to the economy, compared to 1.8 million Chinese visitors who spent the same amount in 2013.In the seven years since 2006, Chinese arrivals and expenditure had increased significantly by 464% and 439% respectively. Currently, Chinese are the biggest individual spenders among visitors to the US, spending between US$6,000 to US$7,200 per person per trip, according to official data. The US Department of Commerce projects that Chinese arrivals will increase to 7.3 million contributing US$85 billion to the US economy by 2021.
Japan recorded 2.41 million Chinese visitors who spent an average of ¥230,000 (approx: US$1,965) per person in 2014, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.
Countries vie for Chinese travelers
At the inauguration of the “India Tourism Year” in Beijing on February 2, China National Tourism Administration Chairman Jinzao Li said he believes that two-way tourism exchange between India and China will gross more than one million trips by 2016. India will introduce measures to entice more Chinese tourists, including opening new travel routes for Chinese visitors, simplifying the visa process and increasing Chinese language signs and facilities.
US visa issues, which had been the biggest hurdle for Chinese visiting the USA, was resolved in the last couple of years as visa application has been simplified and process time shortened from the 50-day processing period in 2011 to only 5–days. China and the US announced last November that both nations will mutually grant 10-year multiple-entry visa extensions for the purposes of business and travel. Travel Industry Association of America president and CEO Roger Dow said the latest Sino-US visa policy will have instant benefits for US employment, exports and economic growth.
Meanwhile, the Korea Association of Travel Agents vice president said the Korean government, media and private sectors are placing greater importance on the Chinese market with the influx of visitors from China.
Likewise, the Japanese government has made tourism a core sector in the economy after realizing its contribution to its economy. The government announced a 20% budget increase for the Ministry of Tourism amid widespread budget tightening, and funding for regional governments has doubled as the construction of tourism infrastructures surges. Meanwhile the Japanese government is relaxing visa requirements for Chinese, Korean and South East Asian visitors.(Translated by David)