Travel bookings from China slow during stock market fall

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Air travel bookings from China have slowed sharply over the past three months, especially to Europe and the US, closely mirroring a decline in the country’s stock market, according to ForwardKeys.

Total outbound international bookings from China fell from a growth of 21% year on year, to just 1%, since the Shanghai Composite hit its peak.

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The slowdown was compounded by lower Chinese purchasing power as a result of the weaker Yuan.

The data from ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day, shows the biggest fall was in August when growth in outbound bookings turned negative.

Departures from China from September to December 2015 will still grow compared with the same period last year, the ForwardKeys analysis shows.

And travel during the upcoming Golden Week national holiday from October 1 to 7, is hardly affected by the stock market drop because bookings were made months in advance.

However, bookings to Europe and the US for November and December 2015 are lagging behind the volumes for the same period last year. The weaker Chinese currency is clearly making an impact on travel decisions.

Olivier Jager, ForwardKeys Co-founder and CEO, said: “Once again our data reveals how changes in the broad economic climate can have a great impact on the travel industry.

The prospects for the low season after Golden Week are still uncertain because Chinese travellers are becoming late bookers. Nevertheless, despite the slump in travel to Europe and the US, overall departures from China will turn back to growth during the period September to December.”