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Chinese travellers desert south-east Asia

  • Author:naky
  • Source:www.diecastingpartsupplier.com
  • Release on:2015-08-04
Key Southeast Asian markets have seen a marked drop in Chinese tourists, a growth sector across much of the globe, as air crashes and geopolitical tensions take their toll.

While China spends more on outbound travel than any other nation, up 28 per cent to $165bn last year, the reversal of fortunes for some of Southeast Asia’s main tourism destinations underlines the risks that countries face as they look to China for growth.

The trend is particularly concerning for countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, which were banking on Chinese tourists to help boost their slowing economies.
“These Asian markets have been the early recipients of the largest Chinese outbound flows and have quickly adapted to a recognition that the China market will progressively swamp all others,” said Will Horton, an analyst at the Centre for Aviation, a research company, in Hong Kong.

“Chinese media and shifts in political winds can abruptly — but often temporarily — turn off traffic flows. Excessive reliance on any one tourism source inevitably creates this problem.”

Excluding Thailand, which has seen a rebound in Chinese tourists since its military coup last year, the number of Chinese visitors to Southeast Asia fell in the first three months of this year to 1.5m from 1.9m a year earlier, according to the Centre for Aviation.

That signals a continuing trend, with Chinese arrivals in Southeast Asia, excluding Thailand, falling to 6.2m last year from 6.4m in 2013.

By contrast, Japan, helped by its weakening currency, and the rest of north Asia have seen a jump in Chinese tourists, up 38 per cent to 3.3m in the first quarter of this year, compared with a year earlier.

Mr Horton argues that countries and airlines need to take a more nuanced approach to the Chinese market.

“There is little doubt that in the long term Chinese tourists will change the face of global tourism,” he said. “But managing the short- and medium-term blips will be a big part of a China tourism strategy.”