With the Chinese outbound travel market continuing its upward growth trajectory, major tourism boards around the world will be targeting China’s high-end travel agents at ILTM China 2019, taking place in Shanghai from October 30 to November 1, 2019.
According to Agility Research, travel is the most popular item to spend money on among the affluent Chinese who are travelling more luxuriously, and further and further away from the mainland and Hong Kong. ILTM China 2019 will once again be the platform for their luxury travel agents to research these opportunities on behalf of their clients.
According to the UNWTO, Chinese tourists overseas spent $277.3 billion in 2018, up from $10 billion in 2000. Over the same period, US’s travellers parted with $144.2 billion.
The China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) predicts that the total number of Chinese outbound trips will reach more than 400 million by 2030, a significant increase from 149.7 million in 2018.
In a similar vein, the 149.7 million overseas trips made by Chinese residents in 2018 was a 1,326 per cent rise from 2001 when the figure was 10.5 million. By 2030, this figure is projected to reach 400 million – a surge of almost 4,000 per cent – and will account for a quarter of international tourism.
Andy Ventris, event manager, ILTM China, said: “The proven growth in Chinese outbound travel is there for all to see, but we also realise that just nine per cent of Chinese travellers (120 million people) own a passport compared to 40 per cent of Americans and 76 per cent of Britons. Clearly the potential for further growth – China’s population is 1.42 billion – is staggering and ILTM China has been created to support today’s Chinese luxury traveller by introducing their travel agents to a new world of international travel.”
ILTM China said its first edition in 2018 saw a demand from hosted Chinese luxury agents for Australasia, South-east Asia, Northern Europe and North America. Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Singapore are also among the top 10 destinations for Chinese tourists, with the US and Italy completing the list.
Since 2013, Sri Lanka has seen steady growth from the high-end Chinese market. John Amaratunaga, minister of tourism for Sri Lanka, who will be taking part in ILTM China again, said: “As a country, we have worked to add luxurious boutique properties with personalised DMC services, as well as bespoke shopping experiences, to specifically attract high-end tourists from China.”
Similarly, many other tourist boards are taking proactive measures in wooing China’s expanding army of high-end travellers. With this focus in mind, Berlin, Canada, Greece, Vienna, Berlin, Monaco, Dubai, Italy, New York and Spain have signed up to attend ILTM China.
Christina Freisleben of the Vienna Tourist Board, said: “At ILTM China, we know we will connect with travel designers and concierge services who design tailor-made itineraries rather than packages.”
Yannis Plexousakis, director of the Greek National Tourism Association in China, said: “Greece’s inbound tourist arrivals from China increased by 35 per cent in 2017 and 25 per cent in 2018 – in fact, almost 400 per cent in total since 2012. The Chinese luxury traveller is a key focus for us due to their high spending, their ability to travel all year round and the fact that they often combine tourism with other investments. ILTM China is therefore essential in our marketing strategy.”