Currently only one in ten Chinese people has a passport, a low number compared to the USA (40%) or Great Britain (76%). The Chinese authorities have now dropped the price of a passport and simplified the application process, which could significantly boost outbound travel from China in the future.
Despite recent monthly outbound figures being less than predicted, the future for outbound Chinese tourism has been given a significant boost.
In the last decade, Chinese tourism has been growing at an astonishing rate in the past years. In 2000, Chinese tourists made 10.5 million overseas trips, but by 2018, the number had risen to 149.7 million. Predictions are that these large numbers will increase, with overseas trips from China reaching more than 400 million by 2030.
Chinese authorities have now dropped the price of a passport by 25%. This could lead to a doubling of the passport numbers by 2020 to 240 million. The application process has also been simplified and people can now apply for a passport across the country and not at only one point.
The Chinese government sees overseas travel as trade, not leisure, so the changes are in past a response to USA political pressure on trade.
The biggest provider of Chinese travel services, Ctrip, is very optimistic about to the future of Chinese tourism. It argues that as Chinese people’s incomes continue to increase, the remaining 90% of the population could all be potential customers for international travel.