China is on track to become the world’s largest outbound tourism market, following a substantial increase in outgoing international travel.
The first-ever Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM), conducted by Hotels.com, has revealed a 22 percent rise in Chinese international travellers in 2011, compared to the previous year.
Travel trend experts have predicted China may overtake Germany and the US as the world’s largest outbound tourism market over the course of the next few years.
“The Chinese made a staggering 70 million international trips in 2011 and while many of these were to Hong Kong and Macau, the number going further afield is growing significantly,” Hotels.com managing director John Svanstrom said.
“Implementing strategies to cater specifically to this burgeoning source market is moving from nice-to-have to a competitive necessity.”
Worldwide national governments are encouraging and attracting Chinese visitors by relaxing visa requirements.
The Travel Monitor also revealed the attitude and profile of international Chinese travellers is changing “as they become increasingly more independent, confident, younger and more familiar with foreign cultures and customs.”
Shopping is still a major holiday priority for Chinese tourists and “there is a clear opportunity for the hotel industry to grab a share of that spend propensity for the stay experience itself,” according to the CITM report.
The ever-increasing Chinese economy has been a major factor in encouraging the Chinese middle-class to venture abroad and visit international destinations.
Mr Svanstrom said that Australia needs to properly plan and prepare for an increased influx of Chinese travellers.“Tourism Australia recently named China, currently the third largest inbound market, as the fastest growing and most valuable tourism market for Australia. Some hotel groups in Australia are leading the way with services introduced to help the Chinese traveller feel at home however there is still work to be done.”
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T