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.

2018 was a year of booming Chinese outbound tourism, with many destinations benefiting from the increase in arrivals. Of course, the year also saw Chinese tourists spending less per trip, forcing destinations to adjust their marketing and expectations.

Jing Travel collected some of our biggest stories as a year-end review to offer insights into the Chinese tourism industry. Our selection includes a set of 8 stories about the biggest influences on Chinese outbound travel, 8 about destination marketing organizations’ campaigns to draw in more Chinese tourists, 8 tech trends and innovations in the travel industry, and 8 about China-focused museum campaigns.

Sweden Hopes for Travel Shoppers with Alipay Partnership

Digital finance company Wirecard has partnered with Cimple Marketing, a payment service provider for Chinese customers in Scandinavia, to offer Chinese travelers to Sweden with the option to use Alipay. The agreement will allow Alipay users to pay with the app at Venue Retail Group stores across Sweden. The move may help attract more tourists following the backlash from a viral video of Chinese tourists claiming to be mistreated by a hotel in Stockholm earlier this year.

Tourism Boom for Greece          

Greece expects a greater boost from Chinese arrivals in 2019 following a year-on-year increase of 22 percent in the first nine months of 2018. The country expects about 200,000 total Chinese tourists for 2018. Ioannis Plexousakis, head of the Greek National Tourism Organization office in Beijing, said that Chinese tourists choose Greece for city breaks, weddings, honeymoons, and cultural tourism.

Qingdao Hopes Subsidies Attract Cruise Companies

China’s eastern city of Qingdao launched an initiative to build the China Cruise Tourism Development Experimental Zone. The municipal government will offer cruise companies that include the port in their itineraries subsidies of up to $435,000. The government will also offer subsidies for qualified travel agencies that operate cruises from Qingdao as well as tour packages for disembarking cruise passengers.

Outbound Travel Increase for Christmas and New Year’s

While the period between the Golden Week holiday in October and Lunar New Year (which begins on February 5th this year) has traditionally been a slow travel season, this year more Chinese travelers are booking year-end trips. Two of the smaller online travel agencies, Lvmama and Tuniu, have reported that bookings on their platforms for the Christmas and New Year holidays increased about 30 percent year-on-year, indicating that more Chinese travelers are interested in taking one final vacation before heading into 2019.

Macau’s Casinos Need to Pivot as Gambling Revenue Declines

Major international casino resorts, such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, are dealing with a continuing decline in gambling revenue in Macau. As the Chinese government has sought to clamp down on corruption, which includes officials’ visits to casinos, the special administrative region and its businesses have suffered losses. Now, the casino resorts, as well as other local businesses, are looking for more ways to attract Chinese tourists, which includes entertainment and attractions like those in Las Vegas.