Accelerating overseas investments by China's tourism companies is helping fuel China’s outbound growth, an industry expert pointed out as China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) revealed that the outbound travel boom continued during the May Day holiday, and Seoul, Bangkok and Tokyo were named the most popular destinations.
A tourism green paper published by the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS) indicated that tourism investment in China in 2015 skyrocketed 42% and reached 1.0072 trillion yuan.
In 2015, HNA Group completed its acquisition of the aircraft leasing business of Australia's Allco Finance Group (AFG) as well as China’s leading outbound tour operator Caissa Touristic and Spain-based hospitality brand NH Hotel Group. Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Group acquired Interstate Hotels & Resorts and Louvre Hotels Group. The French resort brand Club Med was acquired by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. Chinese hotel company HK CTS Metropark Hotels bought Kew Green Hotels, IHG's largest hotel-management partner in the U.K., for £400 million.
It was also noted in the green paper that nearly 4 billion domestic trips were made last year, generating 3.6 trillion yuan. Besides, Chinese travelers made 120 million outbound trips in 2015.
Shanbing Lu , a professor of the School of Economics & Management of Northwest University, believes that tourism will increasingly play a pivotal role in the national economy as living standards are improving and the economy is developing. As the acquisition frenzy continues, he said the industry should not underestimate the impact of capital investment on the tourism industry as the capital influx will intensify competition. (Translated by Claire)