What if the Chinese stopped travelling?

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Do I now have your attention? Don’t panic! Let’s be honest, all 1.4 billion people in China will not stop travelling tomorrow, however it is interesting to remove them from the equation and see what happens to visitor arrivals around the world.

It doesn’t matter if it’s China or any other source market, by removing them from the equation it does help put things into better perspective. This is an exercise well worth trying for your respective destination or organisation.

Why am I raising this point now? As we are about to publish the Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2019-2023, I couldn’t help but notice that some destinations rely heavily on specific leading source markets. At the recent ASEAN Tourism Forum in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, I highlighted to tourism ministers and heads of NTOs the importance of diversifying their source markets. 

As we all know, we live in an uncertain world that is easily affected by environmental, economic and political changes. Currency fluctuations, volatile stock markets, and extreme weather patterns may all have an impact on our propensity to travel. As any good financial adviser will tell you, diversifying your investment portfolio is fundamental to long term financial success. The same theory applies to the travel and tourism industry, and diversification applies not only to source markets but also to product offerings.

I will be the first one to admit that the title of this blog post is meant to be provocative, however in all seriousness, we are seeing a slower pace of growth in China’s economy as well as fears of a global economic slowdown. What does this mean for your business, and which source markets are seeing growth? 

If you wish to learn more about what is ahead of us and how tourism arrivals and spending will be affected, I invite you to join our live webinar with Professor John Koldowski, Special Advisor to the CEO of PATA and Professor at the School of Tourism in Leshan Normal University, Sichuan Province, China, for a preview of Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2019-2023. The webinar will take place on January 29 at 3:00 PM in Bangkok and interested parties can register at the following link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5-AY_nXpQW-W2xwnOHejaw.

As we are approaching the Chinese New Year, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all of our members, partners and industry friends a healthy, peaceful and prosperous Year of the Pig!

Till next time,

Dr. Mario Hardy

Chief Executive Office

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)