10 Updates

Nine Important Developments In China's Outbound Tourism 2013

Jan 1 2014, 5:46pm CST | by

In the year that just ended, China has consolidated its position as the No.1 global tourism source market in terms of both number of travels and money spent on international travel. There have at...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

29 weeks ago

Nine Important Developments In China's Outbound Tourism 2013

Jan 1 2014, 5:46pm CST | by

In the year that just ended, China has consolidated its position as the No.1 global tourism source market in terms of both number of travels and money spent on international travel. There have at the same time been further profound changes in the framework of outbound travel from Mainland China and in the behaviour of the travellers themselves.

Here is a look back at nine important developments in China’s outbound tourism in the year 2013:

1.       Quantitative growth

2.       New push factor pollution

3.       New push factor overcrowding

4.       Encouragement by new Chinese Government

5.       Visa policy dominos starting to fall

6.       Move towards more self-organised trips

7.       Move towards new destinations

8.       Chinese investors shopping spree

9.       Major players enter the scene

1. Quantitative growth continued in 2013. With more than 72 million border crossings reported for the first nine months of 2013 alone, the total number will probably land somewhere between the 95 million my institute COTRI forecasted at the beginning of 2013 and the 98 million CTA (China Tourism Academy) recently predicted. Spending will have jumped to more than 120 billion US$, high above the 80something billion US$ spent by Germans and US-Americans respectively. Chinese statistics stay however as opaque as ever, who and what exactly is included or excluded in these numbers remains a secret. In any way the importance of the Chinese source market for an increasing number of destinations is not to be doubted, even if you allow some margin of error in the numbers.

2. Pollution has been worsening for many years in China, but 2013 moved air pollution from the level of irritating to the level of plainly unbearable. Particulate matter intensities never seen before on this planet are no longer just a problem of Northeast and North China, in recent months East and South China also suffered heavily. In October, in Harbin the police officially declared not to fine motorists for crossing a red light as the traffic lights could not be seen anymore in the smog, in December Shanghai and Xian reported health-threatening air for days on end. In Hong Kong big poster show the Hong Kong island skyline in the sun, they had to be erected on the Kowloon side to give Mainland visitors a background for the obligatory photo which on most days of the year is no longer possible to have, the real skyline across the harbour being barely perceptible. Together with food scandals and other environmental problems, pollution has developed into a major push factor, driving former domestic tourists out of their country whenever they can afford it.

3. A second new push factor concerns overcrowding. The October 2013 Golden Week of collective holidays was even by the official Chinese media criticised as a “Golden Mess”. The railway system alone had to carry 70 million people around the country in a single week. Ignoring regulations in the new tourism law, many sights, including the Forbidden City in Beijing, sold much more ticket than there carrying capacity should allow them, highways turned into giant parking lots. Even outside this period of travel madness, natural and man-made attractions suffer from overcrowding, again pushing Chinese tourists more and more to destinations beyond the border – in some cases however only to meet the same Chinese crowds in Phuket or on Jeju Island.

4. The Chinese government policy changed dramatically in 2013, with the new leadership for the first time explicitly supporting Chinese outbound tourism in front of international audiences. The new tourism law, which came into effect on October 1st, further changed the rules of the game by trying to end the worst practices of subsidising below-cost package tour offers with income from forced shopping and poor quality services. In many destinations the number of package tour arrivals fell in the last quarter of 2013 as a result, with longer staying individual visitors making up most of the losses. New Zealand for instance suffered in October and November 2013, as arrival numbers dropped by 12% and 16% YoY respectively, with short-stay holiday group visas down by 41 per cent. However, long-stay group holiday visas were up 14 per cent and individual visitor visas up by 70 per cent.

5. For a long time security concerns triumphed over the demands of the tourism industry in lowering the barriers of entry for Chinese visitors. 2013 witnessed the first dominos falling with some destinations like the holiday island republics Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius entering into visa waiver agreements with China, Thailand followed in the last days of the year. About 40 countries and regions mostly in Africa and South-East Asia offer already visa on arrival for Chinese, bigger countries including UK and Germany started to differentiate between regular visitors and first-time visa applicants or to issue residence permits for investors. .  

6. Off-the-shelf package tours became decisively unfashionable in 2013, with self-organised trips or customised tours organised by tour operators gained ground. Depending on definition and the kind of destination, on average about a third of the market is no longer hostage to the tour operator and the tour guide. Many of the package tour members moreover feel bad about doing the less prestigious thing, another change accelerating in the last year.

7. Exotic location gain popularity, for instance Nepal recorded already for 2012 71,861 Chinese tourist arrival, among whom 64,275, almost 90%, were first time visitors. This trend is witnessed not only by countries less in the limelight of Chinese travel but also by smaller cities within popular destination countries. To gain prestige, a trip to Phuket or to Paris is not enough anymore among more experienced travellers.

8. If outbound travel can be seen as an investment in personal self-esteem and social capital within the peer group, Chinese investors take the term more and more literally. Solid numbers are hard to come by, but buying they do. 2013 certainly witnessed the highest ever level of Chinese outbound investment into real estate, including tourism infrastructure. The case of the billionaire tea trader Lam Kok (Hao Lin), who crashed just before Christmas together with his son in a helicopter accident in France on the day of celebrating the 40 million US$ acquisition of a 16th century Bordeaux chateau and vineyard, brought the activities of Chinese investors to the attention of the world press. The chateau was supposed to be turned into a resort offering the best wines and teas in the world.

9. 2013 finally witnessed the entry of many major players who had been watching the market before. International hotel groups, cruise ship companies, credit card issuers and other companies which are traditionally not directly involved in providing tourism services all started to take serious money into their hands to create “China-centric” offers for Chinese overseas travellers, many of which will see the light of the day in 2014. Chinese companies were not to be left behind, with UnionPay credit cards starting to push into the market beyond the traditional shops frequented by Chinese tourists and Maotai liquor acquired a distribution network in Europe for the pronounced purpose of selling not to European customers but to the Chinese on the move abroad.

What to expect for 2014? See my next post!

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

6 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Cambodia's Famous Battambang Circus
KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rak ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

6 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Sydney FC v West Ham United - Football United New Zealand Tour 2014
KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robb ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

6 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Federal Aviation Administration Bans All US Flights To Israel
KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

6 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishamm ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

6 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

INDIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY-TRADE
PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selat ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Government Weekly Cabinet Meeting
KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minist ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Iskandar Johor Open - Previews
JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involvin ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme 201 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara D ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

China to boost infrastructure in Tibet
Beijing, July 26 (IANS) China has vowed to upgrade the transport infrastructure in Tibet and expand the existing network of rail, road and air routes within the next six years.
 
 
Global film industry gender-biased: Study
London, July 26 (IANS) A study has revealed that only 22 percent of the crew involved in making 2,000 of the biggest grossing films worldwide over the past 20 years were women.
 
 
Nigeria fourth country in West Africa to report Ebola death
Accra, July 26 (IANS) Nigeria has become the fourth country in the West African region to record a death from the deadly Ebola disease, the country's Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu has confirmed.
 
 
Erotic thoughts key to female orgasm: Study
London, July 26 (IANS) Women who miss on orgasm should focus more on their their bodily sensations during intercourse and try to have more erotic thoughts during the act, a fascinating study reveals.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Pistol shooter Rahi wins gold, Anisa silver
Glasgow, July 26 (IANS) Indian shooter Rahi Sarnobat won the gold and Anisa Sayyed took silver in the women's 25 metre pistol event of the Commonwealth Games at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre here Saturday. Playing...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
India beat Scotland 6-2 in hockey
Glasgow, July 26 (IANS) The Indian men's hockey team defeated Scotland 6-2 in their second Pool A match of the Commonwealth Games at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre here Saturday. After drubbing Wales 3-1 in the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Charlize Theron gets seal of approval from Sean Penn's daughter
Charlize Theron has gotten the seal of approval from Sean Penn's daughter. The 38-year-old actress has been dating Sean, 53, for the past eight months and his daughter Dylan, 23, from his marriage to Robin Wright, is...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Liberty Ross and Rupert Sanders finalize divorce
Liberty Ross and Rupert Sanders have finalized their divorce. The former couple formally ended their marriage on Friday (25.07.14), two years after he was caught cheating with Kristen Stewart, according to TMZ which...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Susan Sarandon reveals Bowie affair
Susan Sarandon says she had a love affair with David Bowie in the 1980s. The 67-year-old actress fell for the singer when they worked on the movie 'The Hunger' together in 1983 but split up because she didn't want...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Sexual abuse lawsuit against Bryan Singer dropped
A sexual abuse lawsuit against Bryan Singer has been dropped. The 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' director was accused by an anonymous British actor - identified only as John Doe No. 117 - of abusing him as a teenager but...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Shooters Rahi, Anisa ensure India two more medals
Glasgow, July 26 (IANS) Shooters Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayyed ensured India another gold and silver after topping the women's 25-metre pistol semifinal at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre to qualify for the gold...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Lifter Meena 5th in women's 58 kg bronze
Glasgow, July 26 (IANS) Indian weightlifter Meena Kumari missed the bronze in the women's 58 kg category to finish fifth in the Commonwealth Games here Saturday. England's Zoe Smith, who won the bronze four years ago...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
India need Shami to fire at Rose Bowl
Hampshire, July 26 (IANS/RAY) If pacer Mohammed Shami fires in the third India-England Test match for the Pataudi Trophy starting at the Rose Bowl here Sunday, the tourists could be well placed to hold their own. The...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Boxers Vijender, Manoj in last 16
Glasgow, July 26 (IANS) Indian boxers Vijender Singh and Manoj Kumar won their respective bouts to advance to the Round of 16 at the Commonwealth Games at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre here Saturday....
Read more on Sport Balla