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COTRI predicts upswing in China Outbound tourism if H1N1 stops striking any harder
COTRI predicts upswing in China Outbound tourism if H1N1 stops striking any harder

With the latest figures released by CNTA China National Tourism Administration during an UNWTO tourism conference in Hangzhou/China, COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute predicts a positive development of this source market in the coming months, if swine flu is not turning nasty.

Li Renzhi, Director-General of the Department of Supervision and Management of CNTA, in his presentation during the 5th International Conference on Destination Management organized by UNWTO, CNTA and PATA Pacific Asia Travel Association, announced new figures for the Chinese outbound tourism market from July 2008 to July 2009. The statistics show that the global economic downturn had only a limited impact on the numbers of Mainland Chinese crossing the border. The Swine flu scare however curtailed the recording outbound travels to 3.5 million and less per month in May and June 2009. With the swine flu not resulting in any fatal infection, the figures for July (3.9 million) and especially for August (4.7 million, Source: China Tourism News) are however already indicating a strong rebound.

Li Renzhi predicted for the whole year of 2009 a Zero growth rate for China's outbound tourism. Prof. Dr. Arlt, director of COTRI is however slightly more optimistic: "By listening to the latest market reports from popular destinations for Chinese travellers like Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand and Malaysia during the UNWTO/PATA conference in Hangzhou, all reporting bouncing back to growth in recent months, China should still be able to achieve a positive growth rate for its outbound market in 2009. Travel restrictions to Macao, a major factor in the recent downward trend of Chinese outbound travel, have been eased by the Chinese government. The mood in China is optimistic and vigorous: real estate industry and stock markets are resurging back to their pre-crisis levels; government subsidies, easing of visa procedures and other measures taken by the destinations are all helping to offer the Chinese travellers a good deal in the last quarter of year 2009. A single-digit growth rate for 2009 and a double-digit growth rate for 2010 are likely, if H1N1 is not mutating into a more dangerous form."

Figures make more sense if we translate them properly. The first half of 2009 saw a slightly increase of tourist departures by 1.05% to 22.547 million than that of 2008. If visits to SARs of Hong Kong and Macao are deducted, the number of real Chinese outbound tourists in the first two quarters of 2009 has progressed into 9.16 million, a remarkable 11.5% leap over the same period of 2008.

The numbers released by CNTA in detail:

 Month

 Mainland Chinese Outbound border crossings (million)

 Month

 Mainland Chinese Outbound border crossings (million)

July 2008

 4.202

 January 2009

 4.312

 August 2008

 4.162

 February 2009

  3.678

 September 2008

 3.717

  March 2009

  3.982

 October 2008

 3.905

 April 2009

 3.901

 November 2008

 3.729

 May 2009

 3.517

 December 2008

 3.817

 June 2009

 3.157

 

 

 July 2009

 3.948

 

 

  August 2009

  4.649

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