45% of Chinese are willing to travel overseas

ATM Virtual reveals that 45% of Chinese are willing to travel overseas, according to survey

  • A joint survey by Ivy Alliance, CCT and PATA has found that 60% of Chinese intend to travel in 2020 and 45% are willing to travel abroad
  • According to China Tourism Academy, 155 million Chinese tourists travelled overseas in 2019
  • Chinese visitors spent $277.3 billion in 2018 making it the top outbound market

With the spread of coronavirus under control and domestic leisure travel growing, Middle East travel professionals are now looking to China to initiate international tourism. A joint survey conducted by the Ivy Alliance Tourism Consulting, China Comfort Travel Group (CCT), and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), was discussed by a panel of experts during the three-day ATM Virtual event that is currently taking place.

The Virtual ATM China Tourism Forum, took an in-depth look at the potential of the Chinese outbound leisure market post COVID-19’s closed borders and what overseas destinations and attractions can do to reassure and convince Chinese tourists, that their destination is safe to visit.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, said: “In China we are already witnessing the green-shoots of recovery and many industry experts are looking to China to kickstart international tourism.”

Moderated by Dr. Adam Wu, the panellists for this session, included Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman, International Institute of Peace for Tourism (IIPT) and former Secretary General of the UNWTO; Helen Shapovalova, Founder & Director, Pan Ukraine; Lisa Dinh, Tourism Director, VIA Outlets and Tony Ong, Chief Business Officer and Vice President of HCG International Travel Group, which has over 7000 local travel agents across China focusing on outbound travel.

Dr. Rifai, opened the debate comparing COVID-19 to other crises that the industry has faced in the past.

“After 9/11, people had to get used to security restrictions such as removing their shoes and belts, no liquids, now that is a way of life. People are now afraid to travel, but things will change, new protocols will be introduced and the quicker that happens the more trust and confidence will be communicated, bringing travellers back.”

He also added that governments need to cooperate by signing bi-lateral agreements and an international certification programme would help to standardise levels of sanitisation and general protocol.

Helen Shapovalova commented that ecotourism would be major trend when international travel restrictions were lifted. “Natural settings with green open spaces, mountains, rivers and fresh air will play a big part post COVID-19.”

Shopping has always been a top attraction for Chinese tourists especially luxury goods and Lisa Dinh, expected changes here as well, balancing risk management with the customer experience. “Trust is the new currency. The demand is still there, but health and safety and relationship building will be key. Training will be essential to changing mindset.”

Other issues discussed included, technology, the role of international industry associations and why destinations need to change their propositions, safety, trust and consumer confidence were often cited throughout the hour-long debate.

Returning to the survey, nearly half of those questioned said they preferred group tours but given the coronavirus outbreak, many Chinese would now travel, in smaller groups catering for better social distancing.

Tony Ong remarked, “Groups will be smaller, reduced to 10-50 people, which will probably happen one to two months after the borders have opened.”

Other sessions today (Tuesday 2nd June) included, ‘Bouncing Back: Tourism Strategies for the Future’ and ‘Catapulting Resilience Through Technology and Analytics’. Videos of both sessions are now available on demand – to view them, please log on to atmvirtual.eventnetworking.com/register/

The third and final day of the debut ATM Virtual will feature an interview with Wizz Air CEO, Joszef Varadi, taking place from 11am – 12pm GST (8am – 9am BST), while the International Travel Investment Conference summit, will discuss sustainable investment measures for the Middle East travel and tourism sector to restore travellers’ confidence post-pandemic.

The responsible tourism session, ‘The Implications of Covid-19 for Responsible Hospitality’, will also take place on day three, followed by the Influencers’ session titled ‘Make Your Connection: Influencers as a Key Part of the Marketing Mix – COVID-19 The Road to Recovery’. This session will feature a panel of prominent travel and lifestyle influencers discussing the importance of creating relevant, engaging, and impactful travel and lifestyle content in the current climate of best practices. A special networking event focusing on the Influencer Tourism market will follow.

Concluding the event is a webinar titled ‘What are you doing to energise your operational performance?’, which will discuss the power of data analytics in helping to maximise performance.

There will also be a series of independently moderated, roundtables designed to discuss emerging hot topics such as domestic travel, luxury travel trends, corporate travel, food travel and tourism recovery plans. Day three will kick-off with the ‘Will Hygiene Surpass Price, Facilities and Services, in the ‘New Normal’ Hotel Experience?’ live webinar from 10am – 10.45am GST (7am – 7.45am BST), moderated by Hotelier Middle East editor Claudia de Brito.

Other round tables are available on demand and include ‘The Future of Corporate Travel’ led by Breaking Travel News; The Changing Face of Luxury Family Travel hosted by Destinations of the World News;The New Normal: What the Future Looks Like for the Hotel and Tourism Industry’ and Middle East: The New Asian Source Market’ both by Trav Talk Middle East, as well as TTN Middle East’s ‘Challenges Faced Today by the Travel Providers’ and ‘Latest travel updates, projections and upcoming trends and focus on near-, mid- and long-term travel prospects’.

The Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia and the Italian Tourist Board are both Gold sponsors of ATM Virtual.

ATM Virtual runs until Wednesday 3rd June 2020. To register for the event, please visit: atmvirtual.eventnetworking.com/register/

About Arabian Travel Market (ATM)

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 27th year, continues to be the focal point for the Middle East’s resilient and ever-changing travel and tourism landscape and prides itself on being the hub of all travel and tourism ideas – providing a platform to discuss insights on the ever-changing industry, share innovations and unlock endless business opportunities. While the live show has been postponed to 16-19 May 2021, ATM will keep the industry connected by running ATM Virtual from 1-3 June 2020 featuring webinars, live conference sessions, speed networking events, one-on-one meetings, plus so much more – keeping the conversations going and delivering new connections and business opportunities online. .

Next events: ATM Virtual: Monday 1st to Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Live ATM: Sunday 16th to Wednesday 19th May 2021 – Dubai #IdeasArriveHere

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is a leading global events business. It combines face-to-face with data and digital tools to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 500 events in almost 30 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than 7 million participants.

Our events, organized by 35 global offices, leverage industry expertise, large data sets and technology to enable our customers to generate billions of dollars of revenues for the economic development of local markets and national economies around the world. Reed Exhibitions is part of RELX, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries

About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 20 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, LGBTQ+ travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf and spa travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises nine leading travel events across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts.

Next event: Monday 2nd to Wednesday 4th November 2020 – London #IdeasArriveHere

WTM Latin America attracts about 9,000 senior executives and generates about US$374 million of new business deals. Taking place in São Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 8,000 unique visitors, including buyers and travel agents, attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news.

Next event: Tuesday 20 October to Thursday 22 October 2020 – São Paulo

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Around 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.

Next event: 2021 – Cape Town

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