Despite the effects of geopolitics on the tourism industry, Chinese outbound travel continues to rise according to Jing Travel which has published an in-depth article on outbound Chinese travel for the first half of 2019.
Some of the key points made in the article about outbound travel flows from China include:
- The USA still ranked among the top 10 most popular destinations for Chinese travelers in May, but the 10% dip in tourist numbers matched with the 11.9% decrease in Chinese tourism spending in New York in Q1 2019 gives a bleak picture for the road ahead.
- Although traditional Western European destinations remain highly appealing, the highest growth is taking place in southern Europe where Chinese are looking for new and exciting destinations. Year-on-year increases of Chinese tourists include Montenegro 44%, Serbia 39%, Croatia 53%, and Cyprus 125%. Admittedly, such growth is launching from a relatively low base, but the increasing ease of accessing these locations coupled with smart visa schemes is aiding such growth.
- New Zealand’s dispute with China over Huawei’s potential 5G network in addition to diminishing trade between the two countries has seen tourism numbers decrease by 21% year-on-year. Meanwhile in Australia, despite experiencing slowing growth, the total spending of Chinese tourists has increased 10%.
- Growth across Asia remains fairly stable, although Vietnam and Thailand, two longtime go-to destinations for Chinese travelers saw 3.3% and 8.5% respectively. Myanmar is experiencing exponential growth at 140% and with strong numbers coming through China travel H1 2019. Japan saw numbers also grow 11.7% H1 2019, and South Korea seems to be finally recovering from 2017’s tourism ban with a 30% increase so far this year.