On Monday, January 10th, AmCham Shanghai hosted a Monthly Member Briefing panel discussion on the growth of the Chinese outbound tourism market. Hosted by AmCham President Ken Jarrett, the panelists were IHG Chief Commercial Officer Emily Chang, United Airlines Regional Sales Director, East China, Eliza Lin, and the U.S. Consulate’s Senior Commercial Officer Cameron Werker.
The panelists discussed a wide range of topics including the increasing differentiation of the Chinese tourism market, the changing demands of these tourists, and the efforts of hotels, airlines and even national parks to cater to this rapidly growing sector. With another 61 million Chinese due to join the middle-class in the next decade, demand for Chinese-tailored programming and services has become essential for anyone wanting to tap into this market.
Trends the panelists also identified included the growth in the number of free independent travelers (FITs), but they also touched on the strength of the dollar as possible brake on growth. As for inbound travel into China, pollution remains a deterrent to many overseas visitors.