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30.2 Million Chinese Outbound Trips In The First Quarter of 2016
According to COTRI, 30.2 million border crossings took place in the first quarter of 2016, an increase of just 2.4% from the 29.5 million made during the same period in 2015.
Chinese tourists wait for a bus at the Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district in
Tokyo, Saturday, March 12, 2016.
“In 2015, more than 120 million person-time Chinese people traveled abroad” declared Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China, during his speech at the opening ceremony of the First World Conference on Tourism for Development on May 20th, 2016 in Beijing. This is the latest version of the number-guessing game which has seen official announcements of different total numbers and increases in percentages for 2015 and previous years in the last six months. For 2016 no official outbound travel numbers have been published at all in China.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, based on extensive research using available information from host countries as well as from within China and taking into account possible double-counting for instance in Schengen Area countries, differences between nationality and country of residence as the base of statistics as well as other factors, is for the first time publishing its own figures for quarterly border-crossings from Mainland China.
According to COTRI (the institute of which your humble author has the honor of being founder and director), 30.2 million border crossings took place in the first quarter of 2016, an increase of just 2.4% from the 29.5 million made during the same period in 2015. This is the lowest growth rate reported since the beginning of outbound tourism from China in 1997 and the first single-digit growth rate in the current decade.
However, this shockingly small year-on-year average growth rate for the first quarter of 2016 masks two very different trends:
The arrival numbers for Hong Kong fell dramatically by 15% from 12.3 million to 10.4 million and slipped in Macau by 2% from 5.0 million to 4.9 million, resulting in an overall decrease of 11% for the Special Administrative Regions in Q1 2016.
In the rest of the world, this loss of almost two million arrivals was canceled out by an increase of about the same amount of the combined arrival figures for Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan and the UAE. Given the strong increases in arrivals from China for many countries especially in Europe and North America, it is possible to calculate a growth rate of 22% for the rest of the world, resulting in an overall growth rate of 2.4%.
  Source: Forbes

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