The 21st Century Game-Changer Up Close China Outbound Tourism

Driven by a booming economy and increasing disposable incomes, mainland Chinese are looking more and more to travel abroad. In what markets do they make their mark, and how does one have to cater to them differently from other travelers?


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  1. Chris HubbardNovember 20, 2012

    Good evening Mr. Voellm, I would like you to know that I enjoy reading your quarterly updates about the hotel market in China. I really feel once the middle class begins to become more established that economy-scale hotel brands will begin to flourish and will over-shadow the current market of affluent Chinese travelers seeking name-brand recognition properties. Well, I sending this email to you because I’m a graduate student at UNLV and I’m working on a research project on tourism industry in Xiamen. I was wondering if you could perhaps just tell me your overall opinion about the city, what you forecast its future potential to be, and any trends in hotel concepts or cuisine you have noticed. It appears that Xiamen has the infrastructure in place and a fast growing yet stable economy to sustain a rapid growth in tourism, but I’m just going off written publications and journals as don’t have any personal contacts to reassure this. Also, how do you think the recent move of the cruise ship industry into the Asia market will do and how major of an impact will it have on the coastal cities? And lastly, with the growth in tourism on top of other fast growing industries; what is the job market like and do you think there will be shortages in the labor market? Thank you for the informative updates each quarter, Chris Hubbard

    • Dear Chris, thank you for your message. Xiamen is well positioned to be a leisure, business and MICE destination along the eastern searbaord and the main city of Fujian province. There will be ups-and-downs but Xiamen is better off than many other cities in CHina. I do think that the beach and Gulangyu are compelling tourist stories, however more attractions are needed in order to diversify the experience and create return visits. In terms of hotel concepts, there is potential for some boutique hotels given the historical context underlined by the opening of hotel Indigo. Location as always is critical in determining the product. In terms of cuisine, Fujian cuisine is quite different from Cantonese or Shanghai and has not caught on across the country. Cantonese restaurants remain among the most popular across China. The cruise ship industry is still in its infancy, mainly driven by off-shore gaming. In my opinion visa approval processes makes cruising in Asia more complicated and few ports have proper facilities or readily accessible attractions. The job market situation is dire and there is no silver lining on the horizon for the hotel industry. Demographic trends and society pressures go against the odds. Hope this helps. Thank you for your continued readership of our pubications. Best, Dan

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