PATA: Quality is key to China outbound

Tackling unethical business
practices is a top priority for the China National Tourism
Administration, as well as destination stakeholders who wish to
effectively compete for the emerging China (PRC) mega-market.“PATA’s view is that the healthy growth of the emerging Chinese
outbound market requires partnership and co-operation; continuous
attention and collective effort; between the public sector and private
sector, as well as between Chinese authorities and approved
destinations,” said PATA Regional Director - China Ms Kate Chang.

Ms Chang told delegates participating in the PATA-Nielsen China (PRC)
Outbound intelligence workshop at PATA Travel Mart 2007 today that in
working together with destinations such as Hong Kong, the CNTA was
already cracking down on zero-cost tours.

At home, CNTA has set up a web page for consumers to register their
complaints. Nearly 900 complaints about outbound tours were logged in
2006 (78% more than 2005), and from January-June this year, Chinese
travellers had logged 466 complaints.

Complaints pertained to shopping tours, quality standards, hidden
costs, accommodation standards, shortcuts in tour programmes, and
surcharges for younger or older tour members (those perceived to have
less purchasing power for arranged shopping tours).

“Given the growth in the number of outbound trips taken by Chinese
travellers the number of complaints seems very small,” said Ms Chang.
“However, according to Chinese culture, people do not like to complain
unless it is a big deal to them.”


To help reduce the number of complaints, CNTA has formulated an
official contract template to guide Chinese citizens in their dealings
with tour operators.

CNTA has also published an official price guide for 17 common outbound
tour routes to help travellers identify reasonable all-inclusive

Chinese tourists can now travel to 132 approved destinations, 91 of
which are already receiving tour groups from China.

“Competition is hotting up and one of the ‘dream’ destinations for
many Chinese, the US, is now in negotiations with the CNTA for
Approved Destination Status” said Ms Chang.

For destinations competing for Chinese travellers, reputation based on
honesty, quality and value will be a critical factor for success.

ACNielsen China Executive Director, Customized Research Services, Mr
Rene Bos and ACNielsen China Head of Travel and Leisure Research Dr
Grace Pan gave workshop participants an understanding of Chinese
travellers’ behaviour and their outbound travel preferences.