BMI View : The China tourism report looks at a range of key indicators for this well- developed tourism market. China presents one of the largest outbound tr avel markets in the world and many global travel markets are increasingly targeting arrivals from the country as a key growth area. At the same time, improving travel connections and reduced visa restrictions are providing a boost to inbound tourism ; and as a result China continues to attract strong international investment.
Arrivals to China are increasing, with visitors attracted by the extensive range of attractions including 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Terracotta Warriors in Xian. China is gradually becoming more accessible, introducing a 72-hour visa-free stay for transit travellers from 51 countries flying through eight cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenyang, Xian, Dalian and Wuhan. Measures such as these will support our expectations for growth in arrivals over the medium term.
The outbound travel market from China is substantially larger than the inbound tourism market, with the total volume of departures expected to reach just under 113mn in 2015. This makes China one of the biggest outbound tourism markets in the world, and a range of countries including China, the US and Russia are actively targeting growth in arrivals from China. Although most departures from China are to Hong Kong and Macau, which together account for more than half of outbound tourism, other destinations such as Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore are proving increasingly popular.
China's hotel sector is well developed, and previous restrictions on foreign investors mean that the market is dominated by large domestic hotel groups such as Huazhu Hotels Group, Plateno and Shanghai Jin Jiang International Holdings boasting a portfolio of thousands of hotels, catering to all budget levels across the country. There is still room for development, however, and international hotel groups such as Starwood continue to expand in the market, either as stand-alone developments or in conjunction with local groups.
China is very well placed to keep up with the expected growth in tourism. In addition to an extensive hotel market, China also has a well-developed transport infrastructure network, including extensive international air, sea and rail connections. The government is also highly supportive of the tourism industry, and the National Tourism Administration expects to see some USD490bn of direct investments in tourism over the next three years.
K ey Developments And Forecasts :
China's hotel market continues to expand, with international hotel groups such as Hyatt, InterContinental and Hilton all due to open new properties in 2015.
China is reportedly planning to open 10 new flight corridors to ease congestion and allow a greater number of flight route connections.
Inbound travel is expected to reach 27.9mn in 2015 while outbound travel is forecast at just under 113mn - with both set to increase throughout the forecast period, this makes China a substantial potential market.
This quarter BMI has given China an overall Tourism Industry Risk/Reward Index score of 48.2 out of 100. This places it ahead of Indonesia but behind Laos to sit in 18th place out of 23 countries in the Asia Pacific region.
Key events in 2015 include the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day, the Dragon Boat Festival and a range of other cultural, historical, musical and sporting events.