Major global cities should prepare for an influx of Chinese tourists over the coming years, according to a new study by IHG.
The report, published in partnership with Oxford Economics, found that urban areas, rather than rural or resort destinations, are likely to benefit most from the Chinese outbound boom.
“This is a ground-breaking piece of research which demonstrates the sheer scale of the China outbound opportunity for cities,” said Richard Solomons, CEO of IHG. “With the shift towards leisure travel, coupled with the 90 million Chinese households able to take long-haul trips by 2023, the country’s growing importance in the global travel market cannot be underestimated.”
The report found that international cities are the primary destinations for Chinese outbound travellers, with more than 85% heading for the world’s major urban areas. And cities are benefiting financially from this, with almost 95% of total Chinese outbound travel spending concentrated in cities.
Among top destination countries, major cities alone receive almost half of each country’s total number of Chinese visitors.
Adam Sacks, president of Oxford Economics, noted that destinations should now try to take advantage of these trends by making it easier for Chinese travellers to visit.
“History shows that destinations which improve access for Chinese travellers experience a significant growth premium in the number of arrivals. This represents a clear opportunity for both countries and international cities to benefit from the huge future increases in Chinese outbound travel,” Sacks said.
IHG became the first hotel company to launch a new brand specifically for the Chinese market when it created Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts in 2012. This new offering will initially be rolled out in China, but the company is also planning to bring the concept to key global cities in future.