Apr 27, 2016

    Countries vie for money from Chinese tourists

    THE spending power of Chinese tourists is making foreign destinations work doubly hard for their attention.

    This is evident from the latest offerings by 400 exhibitors at the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market held in Beijing from April 12 to 14.

    Red-wine tours, cruise trips, shopping, hiking and adventure holidays were the highlights of the event's high-end section.

    Exotic locations like Greece, Israel, Namibia, Ukraine and Andorra also made their debuts at the expo.

    Meanwhile, Egypt Air has increased weekly flights between Guangzhou and Cairo to seven, and the country's tourism authorities are pushing for more flights from Beijing to the capital city, said tourism counsellor at the Egyptian embassy in Beijing, Shaarawy Abu.

    The Israel Tourism Authority signed a strategic agreement with China's major online travel agency at the expo.

    It hopes to attract 100,000 visitors annually by the end of next year, says Bora Shnitman, the country's top tourism official in China.

    Although the growth in outbound holiday-makers from China dropped to 9.8 per cent last year and the yuan's depreciation poses challenges, the business still has great potential, said Dai Bin, head of China Tourism Academy.

    On average, the Chinese are expected to travel five times each year by 2020 and that translates to seven billion domestic travellers and 200 million outbound ones, added Mr Dai.

    This comes as China authorities launched a campaign this month calling for civilised travel - in light of reports of bad behaviour by Chinese travellers.

    Three people were also recently blacklisted from airlines due to uncivilised behaviour, in an unprecedented move.