Here’s Jing Travel’s weekly guide to stories providing insight into Chinese travel trends and how they affect the industry’s main players.
CLOSE TO HOME
Chinese overseas travel spending dropped 10 percent in Q1 2019 compared to last year. China’s slowing economic growth, the U.S.-China trade dispute, and a weakening RMB have diminished the willingness of China’s middle class to spend big abroad. Despite constituting a fifth of global tourism spending, Chinese tourists are increasingly drawn to domestic or short-haul destinations — Thailand and Vietnam continue to enjoy steady growth. The news echoes the slowdown concerns of America’s tourism industry, which has seen inbound numbers slow for a first time in 10 years.
The UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), a Beijing-based private art museum, has launched “Picasso — Birth of a Genius,” the most significant exhibition of the Spanish artist to have been hosted in China. The exhibition is an important part of Festival Croisements 2019, an annual art festival promoting Sino-French cultural exchange, launched by the French Embassy in China. The curation of 34 paintings, 14 sculptures, and 55 works on paper comes at a time of increasing collaborations between Chinese and Western museums with both the Tate Britain and LACMA announcing large-scale exhibitions earlier in the year.
Ruddington’s Village Museum, a modest attraction in the English countryside, experienced the power of Chinese livestreaming last week when broadcast Feixue Huangdu, a Chinese student at Nottingham Trent University, showed off the Nottinghamshire attraction to 434,000 people halfway across the world. The master degree student has created a webcast series dedicated to revealing Victorian and Edwardian Britain to fans back home. The channel’s popularity is a reminder for museums and cultural institutions of the enduring currency that authentic and engaging user-generated content holds in China.
LA LA LAND
When it comes to attracting outbound Chinese tourists, the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board continues to be a model DMO. Although Chinese tourists to the U.S. dipped for a first time in 15 years, the agency recently announced a seven percent growth in 2018. This is a testament to a comprehensive social media strategy, an emphasis on advertising the city’s unique cultural tourism, and a push to encourage local vendors to accept Chinese digital payment systems. With careful planning and a strong drive to connect with Chinese tourists, expect the city remain the top port of entry for years to come.