Are Chinese Travelers Really Changing the Travel Industry?

The World Travel & Tourism Conference (WTTC) 14th Global Summit is an incredilbe place, this year based in Hainan Island on the South China Sea.

Discover how Chinese travellers are changing the entire travel industry…


When it comes to travel and tourism, all eyes are on China. Peter Greenberg recently traveled to Hainan Island in the South China Sea for the World Travel & Tourism Conference (WTTC) 14th Global Summit. While he was there, Peter sat down with icons from the travel industry, including Jean-Claude Baumgarten, recent president and CEO of the WTTC to discuss how Chinese travelers are changing the tourism industry as a whole. Read on to find out more, and click here to listen to the interviews on Peter’s Travel Today Podcast.

China will overtake the U.S. as the largest outbound travel market this year. According to theUnited Nations World Tourism Organization,100 million Chinese

tourists are expected to travel abroad in 2015.Chinese travelers are also the top source of tourist cash, having spent over US$100 billion in 2012, a staggering 40 more than the previous years.

Richard Lowe, managing director co-head of the London region of Barclays,explains that there will be some [businesses] catering towards Chinese tastes, and retailers will be looking at what Chinese tourists would like to purchase. Hotels are jumping on the trend wholeheartedly. Marriott has been teaching their employees basic Mandarin phrases, and other hotels such as Sheraton and Westin are translating menus and adding bedroom slippers.”

The increase in travel can partly be attributed to the quick growth of the Chinese middle class. According to a study byMcKinsey & Company, in 2000, 4 percent of Chinese people were in the middle class range (making US$9,000 to $34,000). By 2012, 68 percent of Chinese people were in the middle class range.

Why are there so many Chinese travelers? The answer is a great combination of Chinese economic growth and the world embracing it.

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Jason Brown

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