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State of Chinese Tourism

New market report: China tourism Q2 2010

Jun 15, 2010

Initial figures from the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) show that visitor arrivals started to improve in early 2010. In January, visitor arrivals totalled 10.7mn, a 3.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase. This followed a decline in 2009. With arrivals returning to growth in early 2010, this indicates that the tourism industry is picking up and a steady rate of arrivals growth can be expected in 2010, although still well below the 8-10% growth rates achieved before the economic downturn.

A further indicator of renewed industry activity arrivals is a surge in tourist arrivals to Hong Kong, which serves as a gateway to mainland China. In the first two months of 2010, arrivals to Hong Kong totalled 5.8mn, a 17.5% y-o-y increase. Although arrivals to Hong Kong do not correlate exactly with China's arrivals growth, given that a large number of Chinese travellers visit Hong Kong, an increase in visitors from the Americas and Europe to the special administrative region suggests that China will experience a similar trend.

Sichuan Province Remains Key Tourism ; The central province of Sichuan is one of China's most popular tourist destinations outside Beijing, with a number of different tourist attractions. Its proximity to transport hubs such as Beijing and Shanghai means that it is a popular destination on short visits to the country, or it can be combined with travel to northern areas of the country. Particularly popular tourist sites include the UNESCO World Heritage Sites at Huanglong and Jiuzhaigou, while the area is also known for its giant panda sanctuaries.

The province has suffered heavily during the tourism downturn. It was closed to tourists for three months in 2008 following a severe earthquake, with this loss of revenues compounded by the general slowdown in tourist arrivals. However, the region hopes to regain market share as the industry recovers in 2010 with a number of initiatives, including promotion of local festivals and offers on hotel packages.

Tibet Airlines Launches ; Underlining China's keenness to emphasise Tibet's status as part of China, a new airline was launched in May 2010 based in the Tibet autonomous region. Tibet Airlines will be based at Lhasa Gonggar Airport and operate domestic passenger and cargo services. It is the first airline to operate in Tibet and aims to have 20 aeroplanes within five years. Tibet Airlines will be 51% owned by the state-owned Tibet Investment Company, with investment companies Sanli and Ruiyi holding the remainder.

New market report: China tourism Q2 2010
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Source: and OfficialWire

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