Reasons behind the rise of Chinese outbound travel market in 2013

Published on : Thursday, January 2, 2014

chinese-travelers1-300x226China, as expected emerged as the leader of the global outbound tourism source market in 2013. Both in terms of the number of travels and the amount of money spent on international travelling; China outperformed every other country of the planet.

As per the recent study by Forbes, the Chinese outbound travelling have gone through a profound change in the recent years. Forbes outlined nine vital developments in the trend of Chinese outbound tourism in 2013.

1. Quantitative growth continued in 2013: Almost 72 million Chinese travelled worldwide in the first nine months of 2013. The figures probably reached to 95 million till the end of the year. Travel spending by Chinese tourists crossed the 120 billion US$ mark way ahead of Germans or Americans.

2. Pollution has been a constant problem for China, but 2013 made air pollution an unbearable for travellers. Pollution played a vital role in pushing the domestic travellers to out of their country; thus augmenting the outbound travelling trend of China.

3. Overcrowding comes in as another push factor for Chinese travellers moving out of their country.

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.

5. The international tourist industry have complimented the trend of Chinese outbound travelling by allowing Visa-on-arrival. Most of the African and South-east Asian countries have issued a simpler visa policy for the Chinese tourists.

6. Traditional package tours became decisively unfashionable in 2013, with self-organised trips or customised tours organised by tour operators gained ground.

7. The exotic destinations have publicised and gained a lot of popularity among the Chinese travellers. For instance, 90% of the travellers to Nepal are supposed to be Chinese. This trend is witnessed not only by countries less in the limelight of Chinese travel but also by smaller cities within popular destination countries.

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.

9. China centric offers have reaped high dividends for many major players who had a good watch of the travel market for a long while. 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 the Chinese market seriously.

Quite evidently, the Chinese outbound travelling is seemingly becoming the most lucrative market for the global travel and tourism industry. In 2014, the prospects are better as far as the reports and tourism figures suggest.

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