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Investment in Chinese tourism and more overnight visitors in Hong Kong

Investment in Chinese tourism and more overnight visitors in Hong Kong

Dear reader,

many China watchers are waiting for the big spending package to restart the Chinese economy, indeed waiting already for longer than most of them predicted. Last week we covered the reappearance of “Reform and Opening” and the announcement of Chairman Xi of comprehensive reforms on a scale not seen in the last ten years being in the pipeline, which again where not followed until now by concrete steps.

However, for tourism things are moving forward on a massive scale: Yesterday (2 April) a strategic cooperation agreement was signed between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). According to the official announcement, ICBC will provide no less than 300 billion yuan of intended financing support for the cultural industry and tourism industry during the validity period (which remained undefined) of the agreement.

The goal according to the agreement is “to stimulate the potential and vitality of investment and consumption in culture and tourism. Actions should include “promotion of cultural and tourism consumption, support of the development of backbone enterprises and the construction of key projects, promotion of the facilitation of payment for inbound tourism, strengthening cultural exchanges and tourism promotion, etc.” with the help of ”financial support for the high-quality development of the cultural industry and tourism”.

The signature ceremony was held in Beijing, with online signing done simultaneously in all the culture and tourism administrations on provincial level as well as in the overseas agencies of the ministry and the domestic and overseas branches of ICBC.

Clearly the more than 40 billion USD are aiming at domestic and inbound tourism, however, the recognition of tourism as an important tool to increase consumption will also help the promotion of outbound tourism. In 2024 the number of domestic trips reached more or less the 2019 level again, however, the spending per capita per trip in domestic tourism has decreased.

Using Hong Kong SAR as an indicator, the comparison of the arrival numbers for January and February combined still reached only 62% of 2019 (6.2 million instead of 10.1 million). However, the trend continues that more Mainlanders stay overnight. In early 2019 about 37% spent at least one night in the SAR, whereas for the same Jan/Feb period in 2024 45% did not return to the Mainland on the same day. Outbound travellers, as many other incidental evidence suggests as well, are unlike domestic travellers spending more than before per trip.

One more reason to engage with the Chinese outbound market, in the form of online or offline COTRI trainings or of course by applying for the CTW Chinese Tourist Welcome Award 2024. COTRI is welcoming applications now. If you are interested, just send a short mail to CTW.award@meaningful-tourism.com.

As always, best regards from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the entire COTRI INTELLIGENCE team!