China Outbound Tourism Index Forecasts Slightly Dimmer Perspective for the Development of China’s International Travel Market in the Forthcoming Twelve Months

For Immediate Release

COTRI China Outbound Tourism Expert Panel rates prospects for September 2013 to August 2014 with a plus 5.9 reading after a plus 6.3 forecast two months before.

September 3rd, 2013
Heide, Germany

On a scale from minus 10 to plus 10 the forecast for the overall development of China’s outbound tourism for the next year has dropped by 0.4 points from 6.3 to 5.9 compared with the last forecast two months ago.

This is the main result of the latest China Outbound Tourism Index, which is published by COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute on the basis of forecasts made by the members of the COTRI China Outbound Tourism Expert Panel (COTEP). Contrary to this slightly more pessimistic view of the future, the last twelve months (September 2012 to August 2013) were given a 5.6 mark, clearly higher than the previous assessment of 5.0 for the period July 2012 to June 2013.

The COTEP members are still seeing China’s outbound tourism development in the forthcoming twelve months more optimistically than the past twelve months (5.9 compared to 5.6), but the gap is remarkably smaller than it was two months ago (6.3 compared to 5.0).

The main reason for the persistent positive forecast is the continuing growth of international travel demand especially with regard to self-organised travels, which is more than upsetting any slowdown in official travel triggered by anti-corruption and anti-hedonism campaigns in China. New destinations like Africa and smaller European and Asian countries especially are putting more effort into attracting visitors from China whereas the governments of established destinations are taking measures to ease into the process of visa applications, albeit not always as fast as the tourism industry would like to. Some experts are more cautious as the impact of the new Tourism Law of China, coming into effect from October, still remains to be seen.

The increasingly positive assessment of the past twelve months from many COTEP experts is based on the fact that the austerity drive of the new government did not hurt Chinese outbound travel as much as had been feared and that new destinations and activities helped to sustain the leisure segment in particular. A more detailed analysis of the results of the China Outbound Tourism Index readings in the third quarter of 2013 will be published in the October issue of the COTRI publication C.O.M.I. China Outbound Market Intelligence.

The China Outbound Tourism Index (COT Index) aims to provide a simple but clear indicator for the analysis and forecast of the development of China’s outbound tourism. The COT Index is based on the insights of the members of the COTRI China Outbound Tourism Expert Panel (COTEP). COTEP members are drawn from the leading experts on China‘s tourism development from within the global tourism industry and regional, national and international organisations and institutions, including academic, commercial and media researchers. COTEP members are based both inside and outside of China.

For the COT Index COTEP members are asked to take into account the development of the number of Chinese outbound travellers, the amount spent by Chinese outbound travellers, the level of support by the governments both in China and in the destinations and the level of commitment of tourism companies and organisations in China and in the destinations. The numerical assessment is done in the form of single entries for the previous and next year on a scale ranging between Minus 10 and Plus 10, Minus 10 representing an extremely negative development, Plus 10 representing an extremely positive development. Of all submitted assessments the mean is calculated. For the September 2013 index, 16 COTEP members from all continents provided their assessments, forecasts and comments.

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posted on September 3, 2013
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