1. With Detente Comes Departures
The improvement in relations between North and South Korea looks set to create an increase in tourism numbers to both countries – especially from China. Many Chinese tourists were boycotting South Korea because of the installation of US missiles in South Korea. This predominantly (though not exclusively) impacted group tours; 84% of Chinese tourists to Korea in the last year were FITs. But the positive experience of the Olympics combined with improved politics, has encouraged a return. 26% of visitors to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang were from China.
2. China Outbound Increases 5%
According to ForwardKeys, total China outbound travel has increased by 5% over the last year and is forecasted to grow by 8.9% in the next three months. The forecasted top destinations are Japan, UAE, Indonesia, Hong Kong, France, Norway and Russia.
3. Asia Pacific Increasing Even Faster Than China
We’ve been so focused on China – we might be missing the story out of Asia Pacific! Forward Keys forecasts APAC growth at 7.6% in the next three months.
4. Dragon Boat Festival : Long Boats and Short Holidays
In mid-June, China will celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. This is a popular time for people to travel. However, its short holiday so people tend to stay in the region. TFWA forecasts the following destinations to be popular Dragon Boat Festival getaways: Bangkok, Osaka, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Phuket.
5. EU-China Year of Tourism
Europe has partnered with China to encourage travel between the two regions and increase the visibility of Europe as a tourism destination. Chinese travellers are feeling growth across the continent from Portugal to Montenegro (+153%!). Destinations that have worked to increase flight connections, like Finland (+21%), saw their efforts paid off. Europe expects Chinese arrivals to grow 7.3% year on year for the next four years!
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