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.

Early tourism trend reports are beginning to come in for this year’s Lunar New Year holiday, a travel period that saw an estimated 7 million Chinese outbound travelers descend upon international destinations around the globe. Those locations treated Chinese tourists to more Lunar New Year events and activities than ever before, hoping to spur new consumption trends among those travelers.

Meanwhile, as luxury brands report their fourth-quarter earnings, many are showing that Chinese tourist spending has declined at retail outlets — no real surprise, even though overall spending on travel-related services has increased. The good news for them is that sales are increasing inside of China, a trend that unfortunately isn’t so nice for far-flung destinations that rely on tourist shopping.


China Gives Vietnam a Tourism Boost

The number of Chinese tourists to Vietnam continues to grow at a high rate as tourism from around the world to that country has grown. 43 new airline routes between the two countries have been introduced over the last three years, with many of those routes operating out of smaller cities in China. Despite this growth, China is still not the top source market for Vietnam — that title still belongs to South Korea.

Hong Kong Loses Out to Japan and Australia

Hong Kong is not as popular with mainland Chinese tourists as it once was, according to a survey by the consultancy firm Kantar. A paltry 35 percent of respondents said they were interested in visiting China’s special administrative region this year. Australia, Japan, and Singapore topped the list in that order — with each exhibiting a growth in interest. However, as the survey was conducted only among citizens from major cities, it’s likely that many of the respondents had already visited Hong Kong.

Can a Boy Band Sell International Travel?

It isn’t just destination marketing organizations (DMOs) that want influencers to help them attract more Chinese tourists — smaller online travel agencies (OTAs) are playing the game as well. Mafengwo, the online travel agency best known for its user-generated reviews, has enlisted the popular idol group ONER as influencers to help boost interest in New Zealand travel among its younger users.

North Korea Prepares for Chinese Tourists

China is the top source market for North Korean tourism, and the secretive nation is reportedly looking to expand the industry beyond its capital, Pyeongyang. The country has begun renovating hotels in areas that generally don’t usually see international guests — particularly in the North Hamgyong Province — in an effort to attract more tourists.

Safilo Hopes to Capitalize on Chinese New Year Shoppers

Italian eyewear company Safilo has created an exclusive Lunar New Year travel retail product for sale via China Duty Free Group and Sunrise Duty Free. The company’s DiorStellaire1 sunglasses are available at duty-free retail shops in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hainan, among others.

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