97 million Chinese tourists that traveled abroad in 2013. The UNWTO states that Chinese tourists saw an increase in travel expenditure of 28 percent in the first three quarters of 2013.
A new report by Asia brokerage group CLSA predicts that the number will double in six years, hitting 200 million by 2020. The company states that higher pay, more annual leave, relaxed visa policies, worsening mainland pollution, and overloaded domestic tourism infrastructure will all be factors driving a new wave of Chinese travelers abroad in the coming years.
International tourist arrivals are forecast to reach 1.8 billion by 2030 according to the newly released UNWTO long-term forecast, Tourism Towards 2030. It is expected to be about 1.4-1.5 billion in 2020.
Travel and tourism industry CEOs came to Davos: to promote “smart visa” policies that will facilitate freedom of travel, improve the customer experience, grow the global economy and improve the state of the world, without compromising security. A 2020 vision is a world where smart visas facilitate 2 billion global travellers who are enjoying all the rewards of travel, boosting global employment through new tourism jobs, enhancing business revenues to fuel investment and new tax receipts to improve infrastructure.
The USA and France received 1.5 and 1.3 million mainland Chinese visitors respectively in 2012, the largest number on record. Survey respondents site both countries as their dream destinations and CLSA expects travel numbers to reach 5.7 million to the US and 3.9 million to France by 2020. China would become the third largest source of tourists for the US after Canada and Mexico.
Historical evidence in other Asian countries suggests that per-capita GDP growth beyond US$8,000 triggers explosive outbound travel. By 2020, the number of provinces in China with per-capita GDP spending exceeding US$8,000 will increase from 10 in 2012 to 27 and the population of those provinces will increase from 0.5billion to 1.2 billion.
A doubling of Chinese tourist numbers by 2020 will have a significant impact on airlines, gaming, luxury goods, medical tourism, hotels, property and cruise ships, particularly as travel habits evolve. The Internet will be a significant beneficiary as experienced travellers increasingly choose to travel independently; 40% of CLSA survey respondents may book their own flights and hotels and make their own arrangements in the future.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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