Which countries benefited most from the rise in Chinese tourists in 2018?

2 min reading time

Published on 03/09/18 - Updated on 17/03/22

Chinese tourists visiting Russia.

During the first half of 2018, the number of Chinese tourists abroad jumped by 15% according to China Travelnews.

For the first half of 2018, the number of Chinese travellers abroad reached 71.31 million (+15% compared to the same period last year). While the growth of this market benefits most of its neighbouring countries including the most remote, other destinations may not benefit.

Russia and South Korea, more attractive destinations for Chinese
The football World Cup has boosted the number of Chinese tourists visiting Russia. In the period of the event alone, 50,000 tourists from the Middle Kingdom visited the event. According to Ctrip, tourism from China to Russia in January-July this year increased 150% over last year. The Korea Tourism Organization counted 379,891 Chinese tourists visiting South Korea in June 2018, a very strong increase (+49%) compared to the same month last year. A popular destination for individual Chinese travellers according to Mafengwo.com: the latter recorded an increase in searches for tourist products in the country of the calm morning by 37.8% compared to June of the previous year.

Japan in the lead with Thailand
While Thailand welcomed about 6 million Chinese visitors in the first half of this year, it lost its leadership position to Japan in the ranking of destinations most visited by Chinese visitors in the last 12 months. A trend that could be confirmed during the Chinese national holiday in early October consisting of a week of national holidays.

United States may welcome fewer Chinese tourists
Finally, the US would not appear to benefit from the growth of the Chinese market. According to ForwardKeys, bookings to the US for the rest of the year are down 9.6% compared to the same period last year, while bookings worldwide are up 5.5%. Many factors could explain this decline, such as recent developments in the dollar's exchange rate against the Renminbi.

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