China’s outbound tourism market grows 30% y-o-y during Golden Week
China’s outbound travel market grew 36.6% y-o-y during the four-day National Day Holiday. Japan, Korea and Thailand the top three outbound destinations.
China’s outbound travel market grew 36.6% y-o-y during the four-day National Day Holiday. While long-haul destinations saw considerable growth the most popular destination choices remained in neighboring countries, with Japan, Korea and Thailand the top three destinations for outbound travelers.
Japan was the top destination for Chinese during National Day Holiday
Japan leveraged eased visa policies, expansion of the range of duty-free goods and increased flights and cruise lines to become the top destination for Chinese tourists during the holiday. Ctrip estimates that Japan overtook Korea and Thailand to be the most popular destination, and the number of visitors doubled that of last year.
Korea leveraged incentives like visa-free policies, discounts and partnerships between the Korean government and Chinese business to woo back Chinese tourists and make a speedy recovery from the MERS crisis earlier this year.
Shopping was still the main purpose for travel among Chinese tourists. Chinese tourists are estimated to have spent from RMB20,000- RMB50,000 per person in Japan.
Japan’s department stores and malls wooed Chinese shoppers with Chinese-language signs of National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival greetings. Some stores also offered 5% discounts to UnionPay users, and popular stores in Osaka and Nagoya accepted payment via Wechat Pay.
Meanwhile, duty-free stores, discount outlets and department stores in Seoul, Pusan and Jeju Island were swamped by Chinese customers, with some stores selling out stock in just a couple of hours. The Korean Tourism Organization estimates that 210,000 Chinese tourists visited Korea during the holiday.
The number of Chinese visiting Thailand was up 30% y-o-y during the Golden Week and flights were added to accommodate the influx. The Tourism Authority of Thailand estimates Chinese tourists spent up to RMB760 million in the kingdom during the holiday.
Many Chinese took their National Day Holiday and Mid-Autumn Festival together in order to take longer trips this year. This benefited long-haul destinations in Europe, the USA, Russia and Australia. The combined number of long-haul trips for the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day Holiday periods was up a whopping 150% y-o-y. European destinations like London, Paris and Rome received almost double the number of Chinese visitors as it did last year, according to Ctrip’s data.
Tourism Australia estimates that Chinese visitor arrivals to Australia during Golden Week were up 20% y-o-y. While Chinese visitors were still fewer than New Zealand visitors, the Chinese visitors spent twice as much as the Kiwis.(Translation by David)