According to research published by MasterCard, the number of outbound trips from China is expected to grow by 50.5% between 2016-2021. This growth would bring the total number of overseas journeys from 68.7 million in 2016 to 103.4 million by 2021—exceeding China’s expected GDP growth in the same period.
This would position China not only as the largest tourism source market, but also as the by far most important source market in Asia Pacific—representing approximately 40% of all travel from Asia Pacific by 2021. The second and third runner ups, South Korea and India, are projected to only account for between a fourth and a fifth of Chinese outbound travel respectively.
Importantly, MasterCard’s research does not account for Chinese travels to China’s Special Administrative Regions (SARs), which until recently have accounted for over half of China’s outbound travel. In 2016 alone, Hong Kong and Macau received over 60 million Chinese tourists combined, which still represents a decline on 2015’s figures. Assuming that Chinese travel to SARs remains relatively stagnant in the coming 5-year period, that would bring the total number of Chinese tourists to the region of 160 million outbound journeys by 2021.
The report also finds that China has an enormous potential for growth as its catching up with the propensity of travel in developed countries across the Asia Pacific. In Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, the ratio of outbound travel exceeds 100%—meaning that, on average, at least one person per household travels internationally every year. In China, this ratio stood at 15.6% in 2016, underlining the room for future growth in China as economy catches up with more developed economies in the region.
The number of households which earn between US$10,000 and US$30,000 (or above) is projected to reach 48.8 percent of all Chinese households by 2021 and will act as the main engine of tourism growth in this period.
(Source: Jing Daily)