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China to dominate Asia outbound travel by 2030

China to dominate Asia outbound travel by 2030

TripAdvisor and The Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm, have jointly published a new report on the travel and tourism industry titled, Winning the Next Billion Asian Travellers – Starting with China.

The report shows that by 2030, more than 50 per cent of the growth in global traffic will come from Asia Pacific and 49 per cent of all passenger traffic globally will be within Asia Pacific or between the region and the rest of the world.

Travellers from China will account for the lion’s share of this growth - accounting for around 40 per cent of Asian outbound travellers by 2030.

Within the same time frame, China will likely overtake the US as the world’s largest domestic travel market.

Specifically, by 2030, Chinese urban travellers will take 1.7 billion domestic and outbound trips annually, up from 500 million today, spending $1.8 trillion on travel and tourism - nearly seven times their current expenditures.

The report shows that China’s outbound leisure market will grow the fastest, with its travel and tourism spending increasing by 15 per cent year-on-year between now and 2030.

TripAdvisor revealed several important insights into the future growth direction of China’s outbound tourism market, including destinations that Chinese travellers are investigating, the cities they come from, factors that motivate their travel choices, and how businesses can better cater to their needs and preferences.

According to data from TripAdvisor’s official site in China,, the number of unique visitors in July and August 2013 who researched outbound destinations has increased by more than 250 per cent (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), compared to the same period the year before.

Of those who researched outbound destinations in that time, 56 per cent researched destinations in Asia while 44 per cent researched destination outside of the region, with Paris, Rome, London and New York among the most frequently researched destinations. 

Similarly, a BCG 2013 survey showed that a growing number of young affluent Chinese travellers were interested in longer-haul trips.

While just 20 per cent of the most popular destinations for the past three years were long-haul trips (to the US and France), 80 per cent of the most desired destinations for intended travel over the next five to ten years are outside of Asia.

The top “dream” destinations include the Maldives, US, France, Australia, Greece, the UK, New Zealand, and Italy.

While sightseeing, relaxing, and shopping are popular activities amongst Chinese travellers, outdoor and adventure trips are emerging as a new trend, providing opportunities for countries such as New Zealand and Australia to increase their share of Chinese visitors.