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.
Politics continues to play an unwelcome part in the global travel industry. Whether it’s an international incident that gets blown out of proportion like the one in Sweden or a major business figure being detained in Canada, the repercussions can be widespread and long-lasting. In the case of Canadian authorities arresting Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, the political tit-for-tat quickly escalated into travel warnings for both sides that led to some canceled travel plans.
On the non-political front, China is continuing to embrace new technology to improve the travel experience, particularly as it relates to speeding passengers through airports. Facial recognition and virtual maps within WeChat mini-programs are just some of the technologies that could help revolutionize the tourism industry.
No New Campaigns in China for Ottawa Tourism
Destination Canada and its partners announced in December that they would not launch new tourism promotions in China following the arrest of Huawei’s CFO and the subsequent arrest of Canadian citizens in China. Now, following the national DMO’s lead, Ottawa Tourism has officially halted its new campaigns targeting Chinese tourists to the Canadian capital.
Chinese Airports Going Paperless
Changsha Huanghua International Airport in Hunan Province introduced QR code boarding passes for international flights on January 14th. The paperless boarding pass follows the airport’s implementation of paperless customs and security forms in August 2017. The airport now boasts an entirely paperless process — from check-in to boarding — for passengers who use airline and other travel platform apps.
A Lucrative Lunar New Year Ahead
The Year of the Pig has started off on a high note for the tourism industry as Chinese travelers have already booked their trips. This is not a holiday for spendthrifts, and Chinese outbound tourists seem prepared to spare no expense for their journeys abroad. Ctrip.com International reported that it has seen an increase in four- and five-star reservations as well as private group tours. An estimated 7 million tourists will head overseas to more than 90 countries during Chinese New Year this year, as compared to 6.5 million over the same period last year.
Sri Lanka Hopes for More Chinese Tourists
Chinese travelers have grown more adventurous in their desire to find new experiences abroad, and the island country of Sri Lanka has benefited, though not as much as it would like. The country’s Tourism Development Authority said that it welcomed 265,965 Chinese tourists in 2018 out of 2.3 million total arrivals during the year. However, that figure reported in Chinese media is misleading as the total number of Chinese arrivals has fallen annually since 2016 when the country welcomed 271,577 Chinese tourists.
More Toilets to Attract Chinese Tourists?
Unlike most of its neighbors, India has not seen the tourism growth it had hoped for from China, leaving some to wonder why Chinese outbound travelers are shunning the country. Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times looked into the reasons that tourists aren’t excited about visiting India, and the conclusion is that India isn’t viewed as a safe tourist destination. Additionally, Chinese aren’t satisfied with the lack of public toilets and the abundance of cow dung.