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Chinese tourism growth slows as overseas travel loses its luster

10/09/2019| 3:59:33 PM|

Chinese tourist sites received 782 million visits during the holiday, up well over 7% from last year’s 726 million, but that’s slower than growth of past two years.

The rapid growth of Chinese tourism took a bit of a breather during the latest week-long National Day holiday, government data indicate.

Chinese tourist sites received 782 million visits during the holiday, up well over 7% from last year’s 726 million, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. But, that’s slower than reported growth of more than 9% in 2018, and down from a 10% increase in 2017.

The National Immigration Administration said in an online post that for the first six days of the holiday, the border entries and exits of mainland Chinese residents dropped 15.1% from a year ago to 6.07 million.

Even considering the Hong Kong government’s report of a 50% drop in tourist visitors amid local unrest, overall entries and exits tracked by China’s immigration administration fell 11% to 10.45 million.

But in the first half of the year, Chinese outbound travel did increase 14% to 81.29 million trips, according to figures from the China Tourism Academy.

When contacted by CNBC, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism would not explain the discrepancy and stood by its publicly released data. The National Immigration Administration did not respond to a faxed request for comment.

Regardless, the Chinese that did venture overseas last week spent more than they did last year using mobile payment app Alipay. The company, which is run by Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial, said average total spend per user increased 15% to about RMB 2,500 ($350).

Chinese tourists to Japan, the most popular destination for individual travel on the Ctrip booking platform, increased by 30% with an average spend of 6,879 yuan, according to the company. 

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TAGS: outbound tourism | slowdown | golden week
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