Millions of Chinese are now on a week-long holiday celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Monkey. Millions are going back to their hometown to visit relatives while others will travel overseas for a holiday. Last year, nearly 116 million Chinese travelled overseas, a number that is increasing year by year.
A growing number of destinations rely heavily upon China as a source market as part of their tourism growth plan. Some have an excess of 40 percent of their tourism arrivals coming from China, which would be of great concern during times of financial uncertainty. Travel businesses are worried that the devaluation of the yuan and the financial crisis hitting China may affect them. The reality is that there is about 20 percent of the population (280 million people) who can afford to travel internationally (source: COTRI). That means there are still 164 million people that could be travelling that have yet to venture overseas. At PATA, we forecast that the growth of China outbound travel will continue to grow, but possibly at a slower pace, in 2016.
According to Chinese Horoscopes, in the Year of the Monkey we will deal with more financial events and we should be ready for frequent and fast changes. Therefore, destinations and businesses should be agile and ready to adapt to market fluctuations. More specifically destinations should look at strategies to evenly diversify their source markets to ensure they are resilient to changes in the global financial market. According to Chinese philosophy, the Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal. To succeed in 2016, we need to outsmart the Monkey!
On behalf of all staff at PATA HQ I wish all our members, partners and industry friends a healthy, peaceful and prosperous Year of the Monkey!
Till next time,
Chief Executive Officer
Pacific Asia Travel Association