Makati, August 7, 2017 – Rising disposable incomes, relaxed visa rules, and aggressive promotions of low-cost flights are encouraging more tourists to travel outside of Mainland China. According to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), China’s outbound tourists totaled 122 million in 2016, up from 117 million in 2015. The outbound tourists spent a total of USD111 billion or an average of USD909 per person. An increasing number of outbound Chinese tourists are venturing into regional destinations and their expenditures are benefitting the travel and tourism sectors of developed and emerging economies in the Asia Pacific region.
According to Colliers International’s Hotels Insight for the second quarter of 2017, Hong Kong’s leisure market continues to be driven by the Mainlanders. Between 2011 (22.2 million) and 2016 (26.6 million), foreign arrivals (overnight stays) grew by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3%, with overnight travellers increasing by 7% alone between 2011 and 2012. However, the recent growth has been tempered by the reduction of conspicuous spending by the Chinese government. Despite this, Colliers notes that mainland Chinese tourist arrivals in Hong Kong are rebounding modestly.
The report also highlighted that Bangkok witnessed an exponential growth in tourist arrivals over the past few years. Between 2011 (13.8 million) and 2015 (19.6 million), arrivals grew by a CAGR of 7.2%, with overnight travellers increasing by 15% alone between 2014 and 2015, as the destination recovered from the political fallout in 2014. Colliers attributed the improvement in tourist arrivals to Bangkok's increasing attractiveness; the growing medical tourism sector; and mounting of new direct flights from China.
The report also featured Guam as the “Destination of the Quarter”. Between 2011 (1.2 million) and 2015 (1.4 million), international arrivals grew by a CAGR of 3.6%, with overnight travelers expected to increase by 9% between 2015 and 2016. Guam’s goal is to attract an estimated 2 million overnight visitors by 2020, with China being a major source market. Colliers pointed out that tourists travel to Guam mainly for leisure purposes, to enjoy the island’s pristine beaches and its excellent diving spots. Direct flights from Taiwan, South Korea and Russia have recently boosted visitation from these destinations, with China being a fast-growing market.
China has also become a major source of foreign arrivals in the Philippines. Warmer relations between the Philippine and Chinese governments have resulted in the lifting of travel advisory against the Philippines. The Philippine embassy in China has reported that visa applications among Chinese tourists and businessmen grew by more than two-fold since October 2016. From January to May 2017, arrivals from China rose by 36% YoY. According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), China has become the country’s third largest source of international arrivals, only behind Korea and the United States.
The influx of Chinese tourists is also encouraging Double Dragon to build more Jinjiang hotels across the country. Jinjiang is popular among Chinese tourists and business executives given its brand recall and convenient booking platform. As Chinese Mainlanders’ incomes grow, so does their propensity to travel to key Asian destinations such as the Philippines. The improvement of the Philippines’ infrastructure backbone should ensure that the country will be able to accommodate more Chinese tourists over the near to medium term.
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