Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/24/2014 -- BMI's China tourism report looks at the expected trends across a range of key market indicators in this burgeoning Asia Pacific destination. Strong domestic economic growth is boosting both outbound travel and infrastructure investment, while at the same time inbound travel is increasing as China becomes more popular in a range of source markets.
GDP growth in China is leading to higher levels of private financial consumption, with a growing, increasingly affluent, middle-class bolstering both internal and outbound travel, with the number of outbound travellers expected to reach an impressive 111mn by 2017. China has a multitude of tourist attractions, including vibrant cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, cultural and historical attractions like The Forbidden City and Great Wall of China and various eco-attractions. These attractions are popular both for domestic and inbound travel.
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Inbound travel to China was affected by the global credit crunch and 2012 saw a slight decline in annual growth rates, though year on year changes still remain positive. 2013 is expected to show growth of 6.29%, rebounding from the 2012 decline, with arrivals reaching over 29.7mn. This growth will continue throughout the forecast period, and by 2017 BMI expects that the total annual arrivals figure will reach an impressive 42.5mn.
The strong domestic economy in China has resulted in several years of extensive investment in expanding tourism to the country, with the government investing in excess of US$4bn annually since 2001, according to figures from the World Travel & Tourism Council. At the same time the government has also invested heavily in transport and travel infrastructure. China already has a well developed transport infrastructure, and is well placed to take advantage of the expected increases in inbound and outbound travel.
While the country already has a well developed rail network, due to some areas of particularly high population density the network is prone to congestion and would benefit from expansion on key routes and major cities. However, a strong programme of investment means that BMI expects that in 2013 railways will make up 75% of the total transport infrastructure industry value, equivalent to US$40.7bn, representing industry growth of 3.8% on 2012. This expansion is based on several major projects including urban railway and high speed railways. Air travel is also a focus for investment with plans in place to build 82 new airports and refurbish a further 101 airports by 2015, dramatically expanding China's international air travel connections.
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