Published on : Saturday, July 22, 2017
Although the terrorist attacks in Europe and weaker spending in the US were the top challenges in 2016, factors like extra holidays, easing travel destinations, and affinity towards other cultures motivated Chinese people to travel.
Chinese international tourism spend has more than tripled since the US$73 billion recorded in 2011, reaching US$261 billion in 2016. Chinese tourists are expected to continue spending overseas to reach US$429 billion in 2021. Yuan depreciation and stricter customs checks are factors weighing on overseas shopping, but as Chinese travellers become more sophisticated, shopping becomes a less important tourism driver than in the past.
While Chinese tourists express a stronger desire for new experiences, safety remains a key concern. 70% of respondents placed importance on safety as the most important factor influencing destination choices, followed by travel costs and sightseeing. Events such as the terrorist attacks in Europe and political instability on the Korean Peninsula greatly impacted travel decisions, with Korea especially suffering the loss in visitor numbers to other regional destinations such as Vietnam.
Gaming, cosmetics, luxury and online sectors are expected to benefit most from the multi-decade Chinese tourism theme. Luxury sales to Chinese tourists are estimated to reach 35% of global sales by 2020.