What will be the impact on Asian coastal tourism development?
China will pass the 100 million outbound travels mark in the forthcoming twelve months. According to a new forecast by COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, 106 million border crossings from Mainland China are to be expected in the second half of 2013 and the first half of 2014. The Chinese outbound travellers will spend a total amount of 129 billion US$.
These figures have been published in C.O.M.I. China Outbound Market Intelligence, a quarterly publication by COTRI. The editor, COTRI’s director Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt explains:
“Barring wild-card events, China’s outbound travel market will increase by 17%, the same rate as has been reported for the first five months of 2013, representing a slight slowdown from the 2011/2012 growth rates. The total amount of spending on international travel will increase in parallel to the increase in travels by 17% as well, slowing down considerably from 2011/2012 levels.
The new Chinese governments campaign against “hedonism” and “extravagance” will have some impact on official outbound travels which will however mostly be cancelled out by the growing demand for leisure trips especially from second and third tier cities in China.”
If the forecast becomes reality, the 100 million outbound travels mark will be reached by China much earlier than 2020, which for a long time was the year forecasted by UNWTO. The article in C.O.M.I. is even seeing this forecast as “conservative”, with the growth rates for both border crossings and expenditure more likely to be exceeded than to be missed.
It has to be kept in mind that the forecast numbers include overnight and day trips to the Special Administrative Regions Hong Kong and Macau, which could be argued as being strictly speaking not international travelling. This will however not stop destinations around the world to increase their efforts to get their slice of the 129 billion US$ cake.
For 2012 the official number of border crossings from China was given at 83 million and the expenditure as 102 billion US$.