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.
Following the four-day Tomb Sweeping Day (Qing Ming) holiday that saw more Chinese tourists take holidays to short-haul destinations than in previous years, destinations are evaluating their first quarter arrival numbers. Some destinations have been happy with the year-on-year growth in Chinese arrivals, but others have not been so fortunate. With the major travel holiday of Lunar New Year well behind us, destination marketing organizations will have to find new way to attract Chinese tourists during the remainder of the year amid headwinds stemming from the global economic climate as well as international politics.
New Zealand Sees Decline in Chinese Tourists
It was supposed to be another record year for Chinese tourist arrivals in New Zealand, with the launch of the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, but it appears to have gotten off on the wrong foot. Statistics NZ reported that the number of Chinese visitors in February, which included the Lunar New Year holiday, declined 26 percent from the previous year to 50,900. Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall attempted to allay fears over the decline by noting that this year’s global tourism market would likely not be as lucrative as previous years.
China Is No. 2 Source Market for Philippines
As the Philippines continues to see an uptick in overall tourist arrivals to start 2019, the nation reported that China was its second biggest source market in February, just behind South Korea. During the month, the Philippines welcomed 174,175 Chinese visitors, most of who arrived during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Can Online Travel Agencies Serve China’s Wealthiest Travelers?
Destinations are constantly looking for ways to attract the wealthiest travelers, but it seems that services like online travel agencies have not yet found the best way to attract them in China. When it comes to luxury travelers, they seek more customized tours and a personal booking experience. The $1 billion industry segment, however, is under-served by the online travel industry with only 7.9 percent of revenue flowing through Chinese online platforms.
Nepal’s Tourism Industry Blames National Airline for Low Chinese Arrival Numbers
Nepal’s tourism industry has been recovering since the massive earthquake that devastated Kathmandu in 2015. Businesses in the country had been expecting growth in arrivals, particularly in the number of Chinese visitors during the Lunar New Year — their expectations have been relatively high with the hope of seeing 20,000-30,000 just during the holiday. This February, however, the country only saw 16,205 arrivals, which is still an improvement from 15,393 last February. Business leaders blame the lower-than-expected number of Chinese tourists on the lack of direct flights from China.
New Megaworld Hotel in Manila to Target Chinese Tourists
Real estate developer Megaworld Corp., which is owned by Chinese Filipino billionaire Andrew Tan, has opened a new hotel in Manila’s Binondo neighborhood. The hotel’s location near the heart of the city and its business center will help it attract Chinese business travelers, which the company said are its target market. The 93-room Hotel Lucky Chinatown will offer promotional prices through the end of the year.