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Asia Tourism Relations

China’s outbound travel expected to drop during Beijing Olympic Games

China’s outbound travel sector is expected to decrease sharply in June to August this year as most Chinese will stay home to watch the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to be held August 8-24, according to a survey conducted by Asia Tourism Relations, the travel and tourism consultancies company in China. The survey also finds out that China’s outbound travel will increase dramatically in coming months after the games and will most probably reach a peak in October when…

China’s outbound travel sector is expected to decrease sharply in June to August this year as most Chinese will stay home to watch the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to be held August 8-24, according to a survey conducted by Asia Tourism Relations, the travel and tourism consultancies company in China.

The survey also finds out that China’s outbound travel will increase dramatically in coming months after the games and will most probably reach a peak in October when all Chinese employees enjoy a 7-day National Day holiday.

In China the government, media and people are enthusiastically focusing the upcoming Olympic Games as the ultimate national event with numerous regional and national celebrations, performances, parties, projects and publicity campaigns. During the ongoing torch relay on the Chinese mainland, tens of thousands of people are lining the relay routes, waving flags, cheering and chanting support for the Beijing Olympic Games.

ATR’s Managing Director Glen Hingley said, “Without doubt most Chinese people will want to be part of it either by watching the games in person or in front of the TV, thus making outbound travel a second or third choice.”

It is learned that most Chinese travel industry insiders expect that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will be instrumental in boosting the number of tourists visiting China. Beijing Tourism Administration estimated that 550,000 international visitors and 2.58 million domestic tourists are scheduled to arrive for the Olympics.

“Here in China fervent national pride in hosting the Olympic Games will exceed that of Greece and Australia, both Olympic hosts in recent times, “ added Glen Hingley, a frequent international traveler hailing from Australia. “In one word the Beijing Olympic Games will serve as a catalyst to both the country’s inbound and outbound travel.”

“It will really depend upon the major agents, airlines and foreign tourism bureaus to create outstanding offers to create demand to get Chinese consumers to travel abroad during the period around the Olympic Games,” Hingley added.

China is now Asia’s largest outbound tourist source nation, having outranked Japan, the previous leader in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the past 10 years, Chinese outbound tourism peaked to an incredible 700%. China’s economic boom has provided the Chinese with higher disposable income, while better diplomatic relations and relaxed travel regulations have given the Chinese more opportunity to travel to many overseas destinations.

World Tourism Organization predicts, by the end of year 2007 there will be nearly 37.5 million of Chinese tourists to travel abroad, a remarkable 17% increase since year 2006, and it is set to reach a staggering 100 million per year by 2020.

With over 130 countries now granted the Approved Destination Status (a bilateral tourism agreement between the Chinese government and foreign destinations permitting to receive Chinese tourists traveling on leisure) China is seen to be continuously working on extending the status to other countries.

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