Here’s Jing Travel’s weekly guide to stories providing insight into China tourism trends and how they affect the industry’s main players.
China’s outbound tourism in Asia slowed H1 2019. Although Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan’s market share has decreased gradually in recent years, the dip in numbers to Thailand and Vietnam is surprising given their popularity with Chinese travelers. One region bucking this downward trend is South Korea, which saw a 30 percent year-on-year growth and follows a tricky couple of years for South Korean-Chinese relations. Growth rates can be expected to decline further in Hong Kong and Taiwan where political uncertainty and government policy restricting the flow of tourists.
M WOODS 2.0
China’s metropolitan centers continue to exhibit a demand for contemporary art spaces. One sign is the steady rise of art fairs, another is the growing number of museums with M Woods Art Museum, a longtime fixture in the city’s 798 art district, opening a second location in Longfusi, a historic area in central Beijing. Set to launch in late August with a showing of British painter David Hockney, the museum hopes to become something of an arts hub complete with gallery space, screening rooms, art shops, and a selection of carefully chosen Beijing restaurants. (Agnes Wu)
Beijing’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has ceased issuing permits to Chinese individuals wishing to travel to Taiwan. A 2008 agreement allowed travel between the China and Taiwan, and the island has benefited from the flow of mainland tourists, which reached a peak of 1.3 million in 2016. The move has been labelled by some as an attempt to influence the island’s politics ahead of its election. Beijing has weaponized its outbound tourism industry in the past, in 2017 it banned tour groups from South Korea and took a similar approach to Palau following its refusal to abandon diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
American hotel and casino operator Caesars Entertainment continues its savvy engagement with China tourism by allowing bookings through Fliggy, Alibaba Group’s travel-service platform. The move follows Caesars’ integration of Alipay in 2017, which allowed mobile payment at 150 of its locations, including restaurants, retail stores, and other attractions.