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China Outbound Tourism in 2015

According to China Tourism Research Institute, China had 120 million outbound visitors in 2015 and they spent 104.5 billion US doallars, increases of 12% and 16.7% compared with 2014. The main driving forces for the increases included personal income rise, favorable policies, and appreciation of RMB. However, because of the earthquakes in Indonesia and Nepal as well as MERS in South Korea, the growth rate of outbound tourism was gradually declining.

 Outbound Tourism Destinations
Analyzing from travel destinations, Asia still dominated China’s outbound tourism market. From January to May 2015, South Korea still ranked as the No.1 destination country. Nevertheless, the situation changed after MERS broke out on May 20th, which meant Japan moved into first place. As for European countries, Germany became popular among Chinese tourists as a result of simplified visa application procedures. In the first half of 2015, the number of Chinese visitors to Germany was 1.7 times that of the same period of previous year. France, Italy and Switzerland, famous among Chinese citizens for romantic culture and art, also took a large market share. The number of mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong dropped dramatically by over 50% due to the protests against mainland shoppers.

Top 10 Outbound Destinations in the First Half of 2015:
1. South Korea 2. Taiwan 3. Japan 4. Hong Kong 5. Thailand
6. France 7. Italy 8. Switzerland 9. Macau 10. Germany

 Outbound Travel During Holidays
Comparing the outbound tourism data on public holidays with that of the previous year, it is concluded that the total number of outbound tourists respectively grew by 10%, 37%, and 30% during the Chinese New Year, May Day, and Dragon Boat Festival, except for the decrease of 5% during Qingming Festival. In 2014, the outbound tourism increased more rapidly during Chinese New Year Festival and Qingming Festival, while in this year, the outbound tourists number grew faster during May Day and Dragon Boat Festival.

 Outbound Tourists and Sources
As for gender proportion of Chinese outbound tourists in the first half year of 2015, 64% were women. Fond of shopping, countries producing high-quality goods attracted them a lot.

Outbound tourists aged between 25 and 34 became the largest outbound tour group, indicating a younger average age.

From the perspective of outbound tourist sources, Guangdong Province still ranked as the first, followed by Zhejiang and Shanghai.

 Trend of China Outbound Tourism
Based on the surveys conducted by travel agencies all around China, it is expected that the outbound tourism will see a substantial increase as a result of more convenient visa policies, summer holiday travel peak, and operation of more international flights. In addition, with the implement of “One Belt and One Road” strategy this year, China’s outbound tourism market is endowed with more opportunities.

 Outbound Tourism Statistics by Travel Agencies
In the fourth quarter of 2015, travel agencies organized 13.8385 million visitors to foreign countries, an increase of 29.19% over the same period in 2014.

Top 10 Destinations for Tourists Organized by Travel Agencies in Quarter One:
1. Thailand (15%) 2. Hong Kong (13%) 3. South Korea (12%) 4. Japan (11%) 5. Taiwan (8%)
6. Macau (7%) 7. Singapore (4%) 8. Vietnam (3%) 9. Malaysia (3%) 10. Indonesia (2%)

Data Source: China National Tourism Administration

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