THE ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) in Beijing has lined up a series of programmes for 2013 to drive Chinese outbound traffic to South-east Asia.
ACC secretary general, Ma Mingqiang, said: “Some 90 per cent of Chinese travel to Europe, the US, Japan and South Korea, but only about 11 per cent head to South-east Asia. There is obviously still a lot of growth potential for this region.”
He added: “Chinese tourists spent US$7.2 billion in Europe during the last Lunar New Year holidays. Why should Chinese tourists go all the way to Europe when the same luxury products they desire can be found in Singapore and Malaysia too?”
The centre will employ a multi-pronged approach, with an emphasis on generating awareness through the media.
It will air two documentaries on the 10 ASEAN countries via China’s TV channels and hold a tourism exhibition during the Labour Day holiday at the Wangfujing building in Beijing, which sees 310,000 visitors daily. A travel guidebook for Chinese travellers will also be produced
A trial version of an ACC website, rolled out last August to offer tourism-related news and information pertaining to South-east Asia, will go live within the next two months.
Ma hopes that Chinese traffic to South-east Asia will break the 10-million mark in 2013, having reached 8.8 million last year.
Welcoming ACC’s initiatives, Saly Phimphinith, director general, tourism marketing department, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Laos, said: “I hope (ACC’s efforts) will drive the middle- and high-end segments to Laos, as Chinese tourists to Laos are generally lower-spending compared to Europeans.”
Tourism Authority of Thailand’s deputy director Asia and South Pacific market, Sansern Ngaorungsi, added that ACC’s efforts in helping ASEAN’s private sector to better understand the behaviour of Chinese tourists had led to higher Chinese arrivals each year.
Read more in the ATF Daily