CTC News

China travel market went from strength to strength in 2012.

Fast-growing middle class fuelled booming economy and tourism sector, says CTC’s latest Global Tourism Watch report.

07 August 2013

The good times are in full swing in China. With personal fortunes growing aplenty, more and more Chinese consumers want to see the world, with passport ownership at 38 million and rising rapidly. This travel market is destined to become the world’s No. 1, according to the Global Tourism Watch (GTW) summary report just published by the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission(CTC).

Evernote ready, here are other key findings:

  • Most Chinese long-haul travellers hail from four economic hubs: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen, the epicentres of the new middle and upper classes.
  • Although travel within Asia is still the ace in the hole for most Chinese consumers, long-haul trips are forecast to top 20 million by 2015.
  • With such a booming market, most major international destinations are actively courting Chinese consumers. Canada, which only acquired Approved Destination Status (ADS) in 2010, is still playing catch up behind the US (1.1 million arrivals), France (900,000) and Australia (636,000).
  • The outlook looks good for the Canadian tourism industry, with the renminbi due to appreciate against the loonie, making Canada a cheaper and more attractive option.
  • With the US dominating this marketplace, opportunity also knocks for Canada to develop more dual-country itineraries to attract Chinese travellers.
  • Chinese travellers get social: their most popular on-the-road activity by far is sharing photos or sending messages about their trips via social networks. QQ and Sina Weibo are the most popular social-networking sites, used by 75% of those surveyed within the previous three months, followed by Youku and Renren.
  • Despite this online savvy, travel agents are still involved 90% of the time in the Chinese long-haul market, either through bookings (63%) or research (27%).
  • Seeing beautiful scenery is Canada’s main draw for Chinese consumers, who are also rather partial to nature activities close to cities.
  • The majority of Chinese visitors to these shores are middle-aged or older and in a higher income bracket. However, it’s 18- to 34-year-olds who have the greatest interest in taking a future trip.
  • British Columbia (91%) and Ontario (84%) are runaway leaders in terms of provincial interest for Chinese consumers intending to visit Canada in the next two years.
  • A perception that Canada is too expensive is the main factor deterring Chinese consumers from choosing Canada, followed by fear of bad weather and trouble getting a visa.
  • TV travel shows and recos from family, friends and acquaintances are the top sources of Canadian travel info in China, closely followed by travel guides and books, then tips from social networking connections.

TNS conducts the Global Tourism Watchsurveys for CTC. The company asks thousands of participants aged 18 and over from around the world for their views on Canada and CTC’s Canada. Keep Exploring tourism brand. The 2012 reports look to identify shifts in each market since 2007 via a substantially revised questionnaire.

Read the Global Tourism Watch 2012 China summary report.


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