Here’s Jing Travel’s weekly guide to stories that give insight into Chinese travel trends and how they affect the industry’s main players.
It may not be a quiet end to a record year for Chinese tourism as international relations are influencing travel plans. In particular, the Trump administration’s trade war with China — despite a promised 90-day freeze on new tariffs — continues with Canada now caught in the middle. It may not have an immediate impact on the tourism industries in the U.S. or Canada, as many Chinese travelers book their trips well in advance, but it is likely to slow growth in Chinese tourist arrivals in 2019. The diplomatic situation in North America, however, could benefit other destinations, particularly those that cater to growing Chinese interest in winter activities.
Canada Halts Tourism Campaigns in China
Tensions between China and Canada have risen since the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on December 1st. Canada confirmed a third citizen was detained in China this week. Destination Canada and its partners have now decided to stop all new campaigns promoting the country as a tourist destination in China until the diplomatic row is settled.
Amid Trade War, Boeing Delivers First Plane from China Facility
Despite the ongoing trade war, Boeing announced the delivery of its first 737 from its Completion and Delivery Center in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, to Air China. The aircraft was assembled in Renton, Washington, before being completed in China. The facility is a joint venture between Boeing and state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC); it is Boeing’s first such facility outside the U.S.
More Direct Flights to Philippines Open
A week after announcing that it would operate new routes to Paris, Xiamen Airlines has added twice weekly direct flights between Davao, Philippines and Quanzhou in Fujian Province. It is the first direct flight between Davao and China, and Xiamen Airlines’ fourth destination in the Philippines. China is currently the second-largest tourism source market for the Philippines.
Morocco Sees Chinese Tourist Growth
Morocco has seen significant growth in tourist arrivals from China, as the Ministry of Tourism noted that the country welcomed 200,000 Chinese tourists in 2018, up from only 10,000 in 2015. Tourism Minister Mohammed Sajid said that the country would launch a tourism year with China in 2020. He attributed the spike in tourists to the removal of visa requirements for Chinese citizens.
China’s Social Credit System to Speed Travelers Through Airports
While China’s social credit system and the monitoring that goes along with it has been described as Orwellian, there may be some benefits included in it for travelers as Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport is testing a pilot program to ease passenger traffic through security. The plan will reportedly utilize a “safety credit” rating for frequent travelers to determine whether they are qualified to use the express security lane at the airport, though the rating system itself is unclear.