Pi Attitude Zone: Connectivity & Drive

Ni Hao, Great World

The recent growth trend in China’s economy has slowed of late, and people want to leave the country.

No, we’re not talking emigration, but tourism.  In 2013, 94 million Chinese travelled outside their home country.  In 2014, the number of trippers is projected to top the 100 million mark.

The Middle Kingdom’s breakneck economic growth may be slowing, but the recent accumulation of new wealth means that affluent Chinese tourists have money to spend on their holidays.  In 2013 they paid out over $100 billion, a bigger holiday budget than any other nation.  Their average spend during Christmas breaks in London was $2,300.  Italian brand retailers reportedly had Chinese visitors to thank for 40% of their profits.

A historically introspective country is showing a new curiosity about how the rest of the world lives.  But they still want the familiar comforts of home when they reach their destination.  Pancakes for breakfast?  Bacon and eggs?  No thanks, they would rather stick to their familiar congee rice porridge.  As Brett Tollman, chief executive of The Travel Corporation put it, the right approach when welcoming Chinese visitors is to show patience and understanding, and adapt to the Chinese way.  Having Mandarin speakers on-staff definitely helps.

The new urge to travel is boosting domestic tourism within China just as strongly.  According to the Xinhua news agency, the country's major cities reported significant increases in tourism income during the week-long Chinese New Year holiday in January 2014. Beijing alone played host to almost ten million sightseers, up 12% on the previous year.  The Temple of the Earth in Beijing had over a million visitors in a week.  The capital’s overall tourism income was up 13%.   A further 4.4m travelers passed through Shenzhen en route to sightseeing or shopping tours in Hong Kong, an average of 600,000 people per day.

Pi says: it looks like Chinese tourism is taking a Great Leap Forward.

Zone: Connectivity & Drive Country: Asia / Pacific Product – Travel