Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/12/2014 -- BMI holds a very positive outlook on tourism in China, with a confluence of factors expected to result in increases across all of our key market indicators throughout our forecast period to 2018. Strong domestic economic growth, and increasingly affluent middle class, is boosting outbound travel, while a relaxation of visa requirements and improvement in connectivity is driving growth in inbound arrivals.
Several years of economic growth have led to an increase in the popularity of outbound travel from China, and while signs are that the massive rates of growth seen in recent years may not be repeated in 2014, we still expect to see substantial increases in outbound travel. By 2018, we expect the number of annual outbound travellers to reach 122.5mn. In addition to this, the tourism market is also boosted by high levels of domestic travel within the country's extensive borders.
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Thanks to its multitude of tourist attractions, including cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, cultural and historical attractions such as The Forbidden City and Great Wall of China, and various eco-attractions, China is proving a perennially attractive global tourism destination. While 2012 saw slightly lower growth rates, a remnant of the global credit crunch, annual increases in arrivals have been impressive, and by 2018 we expect the number of arrivals to reach 45.0mn, driven largely by growth in arrivals from the Asia Pacific region.
Tourism in China receives a great deal of support from the government, with annual investment since 2001 in excess of US$4bn (according to figures from the World Travel & Tourism Council), helping to promote the country as a tourist destination worldwide.
As well as this investment, the tourism industry benefits from the country's well-developed transport infrastructure, with strong air, road and rail connections. With a solid foundation already in place, China's transport infrastructure can only improve, and we expect to see continued growth in air and rail industry value.
Investors are increasingly attracted to China, as the domestic tourism market is gradually being opened up through a process of industry liberalisation, particularly in relation to hospitality, giving greater scope for foreign direct investment. Travel agencies also are being opened up to foreign involvement, which will help to increase China's share in the international travel market by making the country more accessible to Western countries.
Our key events and forecasts include:
- Key events in 2014 include a variety of festivals, such as the Dragon Boat festival, International Kite festival and Spring Flower festival, and national holidays, particularly National Day in October.
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