The eight-day National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holidays in China, which ended on Sunday, led to an unprecedented boom in tourism, which not only boosted the economies of China and many other countries and regions, but also brought changes to global tourism.
Statistics released Sunday by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) show that 705 million tourist trips were made around the country during holiday, generating 583.6 billion yuan ($88.04 billion) in revenue. More than 6 million Chinese mainland tourists from nearly 300 cities traveled to 1,155 cities in 88 overseas countries and regions. Such a huge wave of Chinese outbound tourists has undoubtedly impressed the world again this year.
China has been the world’s largest outbound tourism market since 2012. According to the CNTA, total outbound trips from the mainland reached 62.03 million in the first half of this year, while figures from the UN World Tourism Organization showed that tourists globally totaled 598 million in the first half.
Figures on Chinese tourists’ overseas spending during the holiday have yet to be calculated and announced, but most destinations undoubtedly received more tourism revenue. The potential of China’s outbound tourism has been gradually recognized by the world, as China’s younger travelers, namely the 1980s and 1990s generations, are becoming a key driver of international tourism.
To better serve this promising customer group, destination markets are more sensitive than ever to any changes in their consumption behavior and habits. For instance, more overseas hotels offer Chinese breakfasts and electric kettles to cater to Chinese tourists.
Moreover, the high adoption rate of mobile payments among young Chinese tourists has gotten the attention of popular tourism destinations. According to Japanese media, the number of stores accepting Alipay in Japan will double to 45,000 this year. It’s not just happening in Japan.
Media reports also said that hundreds of thousands of overseas businesses launched Alipay or WeChat Pay for Chinese tourists before the National Day holiday. With unprecedented buying power, Chinese tourists are actually helping Chinese Internet products enter the world market.
Some may feel it’s a pity that such huge spending goes into overseas markets instead of staying within the country, but it should be noted that tourism spending has China posted an overall deficit on trade of services, which should ease concerns over the country’s surplus in goods with other countries.
In this sense, China’s massive outbound tourism market not only boosts global tourism and relevant employment, but is a great contribution to global trade as well.