Tourism operators try to widen horizons for Chinese travellers
HONG KONG, July 21 — Where once Chinese tourists seemed content to be led around by guides on rigidly scheduled package tours, it seems now the more they are travelling, the more they want to experience as individuals.
To that end the China Travel Service, one of the major players in the country’s tourism industry, has this week announced that it is extending its offerings to include more “experiences” such as winter sports, golf and family adventures.
An estimated 78 million Chinese are expected to head overseas in 2012 — the most from any country in the world — and some of the country’s major tourism operators are working overtime to make sure all their needs are fulfilled.
“Getting in and out of a tour bus at tourist spots and being in a rush is no longer working with outbound tourists,” CTS president Zhang Ping told the China Daily newspaper.
CTS has announced a deal with South Korea’s GB Networks which will offer 14 new resorts to Chinese tourists, and among them they will offer skiing, golf, and water parks among their attractions.
The move follows CTS’s decision earlier this year to offer Chinese tourists flights to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, where they can enjoy such activities as diving and sailing.
Zhang said the growing spending power of the Chinese tourist was another reason why they were now looking further afield and for more out of their holidays.
The South Korean city of Pyeongchang is another destination hoping to cash in on the trend, and is in the process of heavily promoting its skiing operations in China, before it hosts the 2018 Winter Olympics.
While more active pursuits are being offered, a recent survey from the shopping tourism operators Global Blue found that for the majority of Chinese tourists, shopping still remains their preferred activity on holidays.
Their report claimed 68 per cent of Chinese travellers spent between 21 and 50 per cent of their tourism budgets on shopping, while 25 per cent spent between 51 and 80 per cent on the same pastime. — AFP-Relaxnews