Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Fri March 20 2015

Study: Chinese Tourism to Skyrocket Over Next Decade

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | March 20, 2015

Study: Chinese Tourism to Skyrocket Over Next Decade

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A recent study published in partnership by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Oxford Economics, titled The Future of Chinese Travel, forecasts significant increases in demand for outbound travel from China over the next decade. 

The combination of favorable economic and demographic trends uncovered in the study suggests major cities like London, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo will benefit immensely. 

The study found that 85 percent of Chinese outbound travelers are heading for major cities. 

The report also sheds light on Chinese international travelers' preferences, with long-haul leisure travel anticipated to feature heavily in the near future.

"This is a ground-breaking piece of research, which demonstrates the sheer scale of the 'China outbound' opportunity for cities and local economies worldwide," said IHG CEO Richard Solomons. 

"With the shift towards leisure travel, coupled with the 90 million Chinese households able to take long-haul trips by 2023, the country’s growing importance in the global travel market cannot be underestimated. With 30 years of experience in China, the recent launch of our new Chinese brand, HUALUXE Hotels and Restaurants, and the roll-out of our China Ready programme, IHG is well-placed to meet this growing demand," added Solomons. 

In countries like India, where the visa policy makes access easier, Chinese visitor arrivals are expected to increase significantly. The figure in India is expected to rise by more than 30 percent by 2023.

"More travelers means more tourism spend and we can expect both from inbound Chinese travellers over the coming decade," said head of IHG South West Asia Shantha de Silva in a statement. "We know from the research that travel facilitation reforms can greatly impact the volume of travel into a country, and India’s new visa-on-arrival program will be a key factor in encouraging more Chinese travel into this amazing country."

"The Indian government is placing more emphasis on enhancing its draw as a destination through infrastructure development, building up key tourist attractions and presenting a cleaner India through the national Swachh Bharat Abhiyan," she added. "We are also aligned with this goal through our year-long pledge to support the Clean India campaign and our continued growth which will bring even more high-quality hotels to the country to help cater to the projected boom in Chinese travel."

The report also found that by 2023, 88 million Chinese households will be able to travel overseas. On top of that, over 60 million Chinese households are expected to surpass the annual income threshold of $35,000. That's significant in terms of being able to afford international travel.

Even sooner, by the end of the decade, the report found that China will overtake the U.S., U.K. and Germany as the largest source market for international long-haul travelers. 

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