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International congress on Asian tourism emphasizes importance of Chinese tourism

BARCELONA, Nov. 24  — Chinese tourism was one of the key elements leading experts talked about at the two-day fourth congress on Asian Tourism that concludes here Tuesday.

The event aims to address how to attract Asian tourists. Speakers discussed how the tourist industry in both Spain and in wider Europe should be adapted to the Chinese clients.

Xu Jing, regional director for Asia and the Pacific at the World Tourism Organization (WTO), explained how Chinese habits and culture were different from those of other societies, which implied different needs within the tourist sector, for example, having hot water, free wifi, or following certain rules of protocol.

Xu also encouraged tourism services use Chinese social media instead of Western social media channels in promotion, an opinion shared by Antonio Li, director of the Center for Tourism Promotion in China of the Tourism Catalan Agency.

“We send our newsletter via WeChat,” he said of the free messaging and calling app used by 570 million users that is popular in Asia.

In line with this, the congress organizes training workshops on Asian tourism covering the topics of Japanese and Chinese protocol to both assist tourists and promote destinations on Asian online platforms and social networks.

The importance of Chinese tourism lies especially in the large number of visitors and the high spending in destinations. “It is the second largest economy and the most highly populated country in the world,” Li highlighted.

Meanwhile, one professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Kevin Latham, said, “we are dealing with the fastest growth” of the Chinese market now and it is expected that this year outbound tourism will reach between 130 or 135 million people, 4.7 million will visit Europe, which is “becoming increasingly important.”

Latham explained that the reason for this was increasing wealth among China’s middle class, the relaxation of visa regulations, more direct flights, and the rise in the number of Chinese students studying abroad.

According to him, location is very important for Chinese visitors, who hope to visit more than one country when they travel to Europe, while familiarity and reputation are also factors that influence their choices.

Spain received 289,000 Chinese visitors in 2014 and according to Latham, this number is “on the rise” as the country expects 300,000 Chinese visitors this year. In Barcelona, the number of Chinese visitors increased by 29 percent in 2014 when compared with a year earlier.

Courtesy Xinhua Net

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Q3 Chinese Consumer Confidence Remains Bullish

Chinese consumer confidence dipped just 1 point to 106 in the third quarter as residents in first-tier cities were generally optimistic over employment and personal finance, Nielsen’s survey showed yesterday.

Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.

Consumer expectations for employment were stable at 66 percent, while their sentiment for personal finance shed 1 percentage point to 64 percent, according to the quarterly survey of 3,500 respondents in China.

Consumer willingness to spend slipped 1 percentage point to 48 percent, although it was still the second-highest level in the past two years.

“As China continues its transformation to the ‘new normal’ economy, consumer demand will become more sophisticated,” said Kiki Fan, managing director of Nielsen China.

The index for first-tier cities at 110 continued to be the highest, despite a 2-point decline. Consumers in these cities also held a positive outlook over their future prospects.

When asked about their income prospects in the next 12 months, 68 percent of the respondents in first-tier cities said they had good or excellent hopes. Similarly, 62 percent expected a positive personal financial situation.

Residents in first-tier cities aim to spend more on vacation and travel as well as health care in the near future.

Courtesy Shanghai Daily News 11/20/15 – Cathy Ding

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Ctrip’s Growth Story Expected To Continue In Q3 Boosted By Strategic Alliances in China & Abroad

Ctrip, the leading Chinese online travel agency, is set to release its Q3 2015 earnings on November 18th. In Q2 2015, the company was finally able to display a healthy bottom line growth along with its usual ~ 50% topline growth. We expect the bottom line to keep improving for the company as it has entered into alliances with its two chief rivals, eLong (where it bought a 40% stake) and Qunar (through an exchange of shares). In Q2 2015, Ctrip achieved its highest organic growth rate since 2008. Ctrip’s current growth drivers include all its divisions: accommodation, air ticketing, and the transportation business. Ctrip’s top line growth was due to its aggressive market share expansion and investments in profitable projects. Currently, Ctrip is the only profitable OTA in China and it is using the money generated from the price inelastic mid to high-end travel segment to invest in the low-end or the budget segment (which is highly price elastic). Ctrip is trying to gain further share of the low-end travel segment. Ctrip’s heavy investment in IT in order to improve efficiency and a focus on a skilled employee base helped the company with its bottom line growth.

(Full disclosure – Ctrip is a preferred partner of Chinese Host Destination and has host to host booking connectivity)

Courtesy: Forbes/Investing

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The Russians are coming….trying to grab their share of Chinese visitors

Chinese Media Predicts Tourism Will Boost Russian Economy

Amid falling oil prices and the global economic slowdown, many countries are counting on tourism. Russia is also taking steps in order to actively develop this promising industry and, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua, has a good chance of successfully boosting its economy.

The Russian authorities recently announced their plans to open the Vostochny Cosmodrome located in the Russian Far East to tourists. Earlier, Russian leaders personally visited the Cosmodrome and set up a special council for the development of tourism.
According to Xinhua, the tourism industry has great potential in a huge Russia with its different climatic conditions and variety of historical and cultural sites. Moreover, taking into account the devaluation of the ruble, travel within the country now looks very attractive to Russian residents.
The competitiveness of the Russian tourism industry has significantly increased in recent times. According to data from the World Economic Forum, Russia jumped 18 positions in the tourism competitiveness ranking and now ranks 45th.
In 2014, the inflow of visitors to the country has increased by 30%, with most of them coming from Asian countries such as China, Korea and India.
Last year, Moscow started to boost its activities in the tourism industry and presented its development strategy until 2020. The authorities are planning to create an image for the country, which would be attractive to tourists from all around the world.

Courtesy Sputnik International News Agency

Want to read more about China to Russia “Red Tourism”… http://sptnkne.ws/KHY

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The Battle for Chinese Business is on!

China to become Australia’s biggest international tourism market

MELBOURNE – China is expected to overtake New Zealand as Australia’s largest tourism market by 2019-20, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Tourism Research Australia said in its 10-year forecast for the nation’s tourism industry that tourism spending is likely to exceed $100 billion by 2025.

The independent research company based its projection on a large chunk of growth attributed to the burgeoning interest in Australia among Chinese travelers.

“While this is only a forecast, the outlook for our industry over the next few years certainly looks positive,” said John O’Sullivan, managing director of Tourism Australia, the government’s tourism promotion agency.

“Particularly if the strengthening of economic conditions we’ve been seeing across key international markets continues and foreign exchange remains favorable,” he told NewsCorp on Tuesday.

China is expected to contribute 30 percent of Australia’s growth between 2015 to 2025, andbased on estimates will have already surpassed its trans-Tasman neighbors, New Zealand,for the most profitable international market in five years.

More broadly, the report’s data suggested foreign tourism spending from seven regions -China, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand – would make up two thirds of the Australia’s tourism in 10 years.

(China Daily Feed)

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China Looks to Curb Tourism Kickbacks

Reported by Voice of America News Service.

China is looking to stop cheap vacation tours that force tourists into expensive shops.

The tourists buy the tours at low cost, but then they are expected to make expensive purchases at stores while on the trip. The shops then give money back to the travel company that sold the low-cost trip.

Sometimes, such arrangements lead to conflict between tour guides and tourists.

China’s National Tourism Administration said Sunday it is looking at new fines for tourists that sign up for the discounted trips.

Before, Chinese officials placed fines on travel companies that offer such trips. But that action did not reduce the number of tourists tricked into going to expensive shops.

The Chinese tourism officials say they hope that fining tourists will stop this kind of discounted travel.

The new approach follows the death last week of a 54-year-old Chinese mainland tourist in Hong Kong. Chinese officials said he was beaten up outside a jewelry store last week. He reportedly died of a heart attack.

The tourist reportedly was trying to calm a fight that resulted when two of his fellow tourists refused to make purchases, angering the tour guides.

In many other countries, including the United States, tour buses commonly stop at “tourist traps.” These shops focus on selling goods to vacationers not from the area. The goods are often over-priced and lower quality.

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