China as the planet’s second biggest economy not only serves as a key growth engine in the financial world. The Asian country is a powerhouse as well in global tourism. In the past 18 years, Chinese travellers took on holidaymaking on a massive scale – visiting holiday destinations around the world by the tens and hundreds of millions.
Fact is, basing on the report published by the Asian Bankers Club, around 145 million Chinese tourists flew out of mainland China in search of memorable vacation moments by the end of 2017. The data furnished by the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) indicated too that China had become the top source of international travellers.
By the close of 2018, the same COTRI figures point to a staggering 156 million annual overseas visits by Chinese tourists, completely outpacing travellers from the United States that formerly dominate the global tourism theatre. In the same way, Chinese travellers are poised to outspend their American counterparts by pouring in tourism money by the hundreds of billions.
Collectively, tourist spots that were in the radar of Chinese travellers realised billions in revenues. The same report cited above had revealed that in 2016 more than $261 billion were spent by Chinese on their journey of discovering what the world has to offer. Unsurprisingly, the figures easily dominated the total spending registered by U.S. tourists in the same year, set only at over $123 billion.
Going by the figures and the estimates provided by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), it is unlikely that the United States will reclaim its throne anytime soon. The 2017 results will possibly breach the $300 billion mark, the numbers proving anew that China is now a mighty force that will reshape the global tourism industry, the report said.
And the Chinese indeed do not blink when it comes to shopping. They famously love pricey acquisitions and are ready to splurge on branded and signature items. One report issued by the European Commission described the Asian tourists as lavish when in the middle of retail therapy.
At the same time though, the Chinese are not unwilling to scrimp when paying for the essentials. As noted by the same EC report: “The Chinese prefer to economise on food, accommodation and transportation.” It appears that they save up, when and where possible, in order to see numerous places and continue on their shopping expedition.
Where The Chinese Flock To
If there is any doubt that in the future the Chinese will dictate where the wind of global tourism will blow, one only has to look on the list of the world’s busiest airports. Coming in second on the Top 20 is Beijing where 95.8 million passengers have been processed in 2017. Only Atlanta in the U.S. bested the Chinese city on the account of nearly 104 million passengers that passed through the airport in the same year.
Pouring over the same list and when expanded to Top 50, it will be revealed that nine of the busiest airports can be found in China. When whittled down to Top 10, the economic superpower claims three of the world’s busiest airport.
Now the question arises: Where exactly the Chinese are headed to when flying out? The report from Asian Bankers Club said Chinese travellers cover the major continents like the Americas and Europe but the majority do not veer away from Asia. As of the end of 2017, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea and Singapore proved the top tourism draw for many Chinese tourists.
The report even suggested that tourism in Thailand and Japan experienced growth in large part due to the influx of Chinese tourists. The two countries welcomed 35.4 million and 28.4 million tourists in the same year, and a huge chunk of those visitors can be traced back to China.
Fired Up Economies
Certainly, it’s hard to deny that the Chinese travelling en masse drive up the economy of countries they visit. As indicated in the same report, countries identified to be frequented by Chinese travellers make great effort to become China-ready, which is done “by providing information in Mandarin or Cantonese and adapting their products for the Chinese market and culture.”
Understandably, these adjustments have been implemented because the countries’ economies are thought to reap “the benefit of the rapid growth in outbound travel,” from China, which is especially true for the marked holiday favorites of Chinese tourists in the Southeast Asia region.
Written by Snowdog Guest writer, Erik Pineda.