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.
The Lunar New Year in China is just beginning, bringing with it the world’s largest annual human migration. Most of those travelers are going to their hometowns to spend the holiday with family, but destinations are still giving final travel pitches to China’s nearly 7 million outbound travelers in the hopes that some of them who have yet to make plans will book an international trip.
More cities around the world plan to celebrate the Lunar New Year in an effort to welcome the influx of tourists. Las Vegas and Dubai are just a couple of the cities pulling out all the stops for the holiday, but there are numerous other destinations with events for travelers to enjoy this year.
South Africa Attracts Chinese Consumers
As Chinese tourists’ interest in Africa grows, South Africa is starting to see a modest increase in arrivals. The nation welcomed 72,882 Chinese travelers between April and September last year, an increase of 8.6 percent year-on-year, according to figures provided South Africa Tourism. However, South Africa has seen a 187 percent year-on-year increase in Chinese tourist consumption in the first six months of 2018, indicating that tourists who are visiting are spending freely.
Long-haul Destinations May Lose Out This Year
According to data from Ctrip.com International and other online travel agencies, more Chinese travelers are choosing short-haul destinations during this year’s Lunar New Year holiday. It appears that these travelers are seeking to stretch their tourist dollars by heading to destinations that have a favorable exchange rate, not to mention the fact that flight tickets and hotels at short-haul destinations are less expensive than those for long-haul holidays.
SFMoMA Looks for Success with WeChat
Just in time for Lunar New Year travelers, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) recently launched a WeChat mini-program that includes a Mandarin audio guide to help tourists better connect with the artworks. The museum hopes that the mini-program will help it attract the throngs of Chinese tourists who descend on the city annually.
Hainan Airlines Adding Another Direct Link to Ireland
Hainan Airlines is inaugurating another direct link between China and Ireland on February 25th with a new twice-weekly Shenzhen-Dublin route, which could help Ireland achieve its goal of attracting 175,000 Chinese tourists by 2025, up from about 90,000 in 2017. In September, Tourism Ireland teamed up with National Geographic and Chinese TV star Ren Zhong to promote travel to the nation with a photo exhibition and videos.
The Philippines Sees Tourist Surge
The Philippines has benefited from relaxed visa regulations and close proximity to Chinese travelers. This has led to a 29.63 percent year-on-year increase in tourist arrivals in 2018. The nation attracted some 1.25 million Chinese tourists during the year out of a total 7.12 million foreign arrivals, and China was the second-largest source market for the Philippines last year, behind only South Korea.