Chinese travel set for five-year boom – report

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Shopping, internet booking and the rise of low-cost carriers will lead to a five-year period of strong growth for the Chinese travel market, according to research being unveiled today (Thursday 10 May) at the inaugural WTM Vision Conference in Shanghai.

Senior industry delegates at the event will be told the strength of the Chinese economy will underpin the travel sector’s growth until 2016.

The Travel Industry Global Overview report, compiled by Euromonitor International, reveals that shopping is outbound Chinese travellers’ activity of choice. The report states that by 2016 the Chinese will spend around US$36 billion while shopping overseas – double the amount recorded in 2011.

The research also tips the Chinese to double spending on accommodation (to US$12 billion), excursions (to US$6 billion) and getting around within the destination (US$6 billion).

The most popular international destinations for Chinese travellers in 2011 were Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Reed Travel Exhibition’s Director for the World Travel Market (WTM), Simon Press, said; “The Chinese outbound travel industry is growing at a phenomenal rate making it one of, if not the, most important market in the world. This growth alongside the ever-increasing amount of money the Chinese spend when on holiday, on either shopping or excursions, make the Chinese tourism market one of the most lucrative for destinations.”

Euromonitor International’s China Analyst, Ray Li, will use the conference to say that online travel retailing would double in value between 2011 and 2016, driven by a compound annual growth rate over the period of more than 16%.

Low-cost carriers will also have a big say in how the market develops over the next five years, according to the report. The value of LCC sales will double from 2011’s levels to around US$6 billion in 2016, which is expected to put pressure on pricing and distribution across the travel sector.

“The growing importance of the Chinese travel industry is why World Travel Market has expanded its WTM Vision Series in to China with WTM Vision Conference Shanghai,” Press added.

“The WTM Vision series is designed to bring the latest research, statistics and opinion to senior industry leaders to help them run their businesses. The Chinese market is moving at such a fast pace that country’s travel and tourism industry will really benefit from what WTM Vision Conference – Shanghai will bring.”

The 2011 WTM Vision Conference series has taken place in Moscow, London and Dubai, and moves on to Florence following the Shanghai event.

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