The 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative has created an influx of visitors to Beijing. Representatives of 150 countries and almost 40 international organisations filled the Great Hall of the People – and the government guest houses and five star hotels of the capital – listening to President Xi praising a “golden decade” and creating an even more optimistic picture of the future during a conference celebrating the BRI.
The guests included VIPs like the Russian President Vladimir Putin, finally leaving his country without the fear to be arrested, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, diverse Asian Presidents and Prime ministers and even representatives of the Afghan Talibans.
Data published about the total amount of investment within the BRI provides tourism practicioners with a humbling insight: Less than 1% of the total 1 trillion USD were invested in tourism. What positive and negative effects the investments had for the Chinese government and for the receiving countries is hotly debated outside of China. The new approach to prioritise in the future “Small and beautiful” BRI projects, announced by Xi already in 2021, might help tourism to play a bigger role beyond huge transport infrastructure undertakings.
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The world is still holding its breath, hoping that the attack of Hamas on Israel and the reaction after the declaration of war by the Emergency government of Israel does not develop into an even bigger and bloodier conflict and that the number of civilian casualties on both sides does not rise further. China has offered to help with negotiations. It remains to be seen if their activities are getting much attention. Of course, the fate of the tourism industry in Israel and the surrounding countries is not the key issue at the moment, still it is surprising to see that the UNWTO has not issued as of Oct. 15th, 2023, any statement with regard to the worsening situation in the region. Only three weeks ago, Israel’s Tourism Minister Haim Katz visited Saudi Arabia for a UNTWO conference celebrating the World Tourism Day, becoming the first Israeli minister to lead a delegation to KSA.
In COTRI INTELLIGENCE last week, the quantitative side of the October Golden Week holiday 2023 with regard to the development of domestic and outbound tourism was discussed. In this week’s edition of COTRI INTELLIGENCE the Topic of the week, this is continued by looking at the qualitative changes which became apparent, confirming in many ways the trends seen already before the pandemic and in domestic tourism, reflecting to a large extent the different way the economic situation of China really is, as well as how it is perceived by Chinese consumers.
The Deep dive consulting text continues to look at trends in China’s outbound tourism by looking at the growing importance of Well-Being activities. At the GITF 2024, COTRI will organise four “villages” giving also smaller companies and destinations the opportunity to exhibit at the most important tourism fair in South China. Well-being will be one of the four topics together with Education, Outdoor Activities and Sustainable Tourism.
Reflecting growing sophistication and the rise of disposable incomes in recent years, there is a growing demand for high-quality healthcare services, relaxation retreats, and wellness-focused activities as part of the changing preferences and lifestyles of Chinese tourists, who are becoming more health-conscious and seeking transformative experiences. In China, this not only involves elderly consumers, but also middle-aged urbanites living a stressful life.
Facts and Views looks at the younger generation, especially Gen Z and their different reactions to the increasing competition for jobs and careers, from hippie-style drop-outs to a new interest in esoteric rituals and magic and how this translates to outbound tourism behaviour.
In the News you will find as always selected news items about different aspects of the Chinese outbound market.
In COTRI News you will find an invitation to play golf in Doha!
Enjoy this week’s new content and the growing library of previous articles!