What’s Chinese tourists’ desire? A $125 billion question

Published on : Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Chinese tourists in AustraliaYes, the Chinese tourists spent $125 billion abroad last year which was much more than any other nationality. And it’s only going to go up as the Chinese get richer and travel more — by aeroplanes, trains and, increasingly, ships. Cruises, in particular, are a booming business.

The number of Chinese cruise ship passengers more than tripled between 2012 and 2014 to 697,000, according to brokerage firm CLSA. That made China the world’s seventh biggest market, and the firm said China had the potential to one day take the top spot.
“You see this amazing transformation that’s occurring in terms of a consumer society. We see outbound travel growing quite dramatically in Asia Pacific,” Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley said.

His company is among the big international operators rushing to cash in on the trend.
Royal Caribbean’s most technologically advanced cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, headed straight for China earlier this year helped boost the number of passengers Royal Caribbean (RCL) can accommodate in China by more than 40%.

Carnival (CCL), the world’s largest cruise operator, is also betting on the growing Chinese market. It currently has six ships based in China, with three more joining next year and another two arriving by 2020. The industry’s third largest company, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH), is preparing to enter the Chinese market by the middle of next year.


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