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MasterCard International survey

Asia will see 24mln tourists from China`s mainland in 2004 to 2011

At the current rate of increase, over 24.3 million tourists…

At the current rate of increase, over 24.3 million tourists from the Chinese mainland will visit four major tourism cities in Asia from 2004 to 2011, said a survey made by a global payments company.

The four major tourism destinations are Bangkok of Thailand, China`s Hong Kong, Singapore, capital of Singapore and Seoul, capital of the Republic of Korea (ROK).

The survey made by MasterCard International found that some two-thirds of the increased tourists to the Asia-Pacific region in recent years are from the region itself.

With the continuous growth of China`s economy and the launch of a more economical tourist route, more and more tourists from China`s mainland participated in tourism groups visiting the Asia-Pacific region, said the survey.

Shopping is the major attraction of tourist cities in the Asia-Pacific region, so competitive retailing will be an crucial standard for the selection of tourists, said the survey.

At present, among the four major tourism cities, visitors to Bangkok stay the longest, up to eight days, but with the lowest average per capita consumption of 90 US dollars.

People spend the most in Seoul, as much as 180 US dollars per capita, during the average staying period of 5.5 days there.

The average per capita consumption of tourists in Hong Kong andSingapore is 170 US dollars and 130 US dollars respectively, with a stay of less that three days in each place.

According to the survey, in Singapore and Hong Kong, visitors spend over half of their money in shopping, but less than five percent in sightseeing and entertainment.

In Bangkok and Seoul, the consumption for sightseeing and entertainment both surpassed 17 percent, while money spent in shopping was 28 percent and 45 percent respectively.

In the next eight years, the expense in shopping of tourists from China`s mainland will increase at the average rate of eight percent, which means it will reach 14 billion US dollars in 2006 and 20 billion US dollars in 2011, estimated the survey.

In this aspect, Hong Kong will take the lead in the four citieswith an estimated tourist shopping amount of 11 billion US dollars,while that of Bangkok, Seoul and Singapore will be 3.5 billion US dollars, 3.1 billion US dollars and 2.9 billion US dollars respectively.

The survey also noted that the two important standards for tourists in selecting their tourist destination are distance and cost. With the aim of shopping, a flying time within five hours isacceptable for most tourists.

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