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Growth of tourism in Asia and China

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 24.10.2018, 08:59 Uhr
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Rome [ENA] The formidable socio-economic development in Asia, a region with over half the world’s population and one-third of global GDP is a reality. Relevant factors for the growth are an intensifying air connectivity, major infrastructure development, more affordable travel, faster and simpler bookings through online tourism platforms and significant travel facilitation. With a population of 4.2 billion inhabitants,

Asia and the Pacific is the world’s largest region demographically, accounting for more than half of the population on the planet (56%). In 2017 the GDP of Asia and the Pacific reached USD 27.5 trillion, the highest of all world regions, measured in US dollars. In 2016 Asia surpassed the Americas in economic output for the first time in the historical series. Income levels have risen in Asia and the Pacific since the past decade, with the region’s per capita GDP more than doubling from USD 3,170 in 2005 to USD 6,620 in 2017.

Almost half of all international tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific were recorded in North-East Asian destinations in 2017 (160 million arrivals), while 37% were recorded in South-East Asia (120 million), 8% in South Asia (27 million) and 5% in Oceania (17 million). There are also new touristic destinations like Sri Lanka, whose government is promoting touristic opportunities abroad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWgjE6e18sY&t=4s

The world ranking by international arrivals features two Asian destinations in the top-10: China (4th) with 61 million international arrivals in 2017 and Thailand (10th) with 35 million. Japan, Hong Kong (China) and Malaysia rank 12th, 13th and 15th respectively. 5.7 million Chinese tourists travelled to Europe in 2016, of which 3.5 million went to the EU. In reverse, 5.5 million Europeans travelled to China in 2016, 3.1 million of whom from EU countries. Europe is the largest source of interregional tourism for Asia and the Pacific, accounting for 11% of all arrivals from outside the region. In absolute terms, European arrivals are highest in South-East Asia (15 million) and North-East Asia (10 million).

The Americas are the second largest source of interregional tourism for Asia, accounting for 6% of arrivals. Tourism has also become a major element of bilateral relations and cooperation between Europe and the People’s Republic of China, particularly since China became the world’s top outbound market in 2012. Travel between both destinations has grown rapidly over the past two decades, despite representing long-haul markets for each other. In 2016, over 5 million tourists travelled each way between Europe and China, most of which between the EU and China. In 2016, some 5.7 million mainland Chinese tourists travelled to Europe, about 5% of China’s total outbound travel.

Of this amount, almost 3.5 million (3%) were trips to European Union destinations. The European countries with the highest number of Chinese arrivals (at accommodation establishments) in 2016 were Italy, France, Germany and Spain. Chinese departure data shows France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy as the top destinations by first port of call. From China, the top-10 sources of travel to Europe in 2017 were Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing, Harbin, Wuhan and Chongqing. Chinese residents from first-tier cities have, on average, higher per-capita disposable income than those from lower-tier cities and contribute the largest proportion of outbound travel.

Travellers in the 30–49 age group made up almost half of all travellers with a slightly higher percentage of females (54 % to 46% males). Leisure accounted for 65% of purpose of trip. However, there was a strong business travel component (19%) which includes the meetings and incentives category. There are policies and plans aimed to develop the Greater Bay Area of China, which includes the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, as well as nine cities in Guangdong Province: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Zhaoqing, Jiangmen and Huizhou. The objective is to create a viable and competitive socioeconomic zone, comparable to three of the most wellknown bay area economies in the world: the New York

Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Tokyo Bay Area. In 2016, the GDP of the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area reached USD 1.38 trillion. It has one of the largest population bases and economic outputs of the bay areas of the world. The Greater Bay Area is also the fastest growing region for tourism in China. The cities with higher tourism development levels in Guangdong are concentrated in the Pearl River Delta region where the Greater Bay Area lies, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Foshan, which account for a large majority of the total tourism income of the province.

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