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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Destinations Are Shaping Personal Brands in China (Must read)

Hello destination leaders,

Earlier this week there was a feature in Bloomberg titled ‘Chinese Tourists Are Taking Over the Earth, One Selfie at a Time’ and in case you missed it’s a remarkable peek into China’s outbound travel segment, tipped to become $429B by 2021 (yep, that’s right!).

For this week’s blog I’m going to summarize the most relevant nuggets from the article and save you the trouble.

The numbers:

  1. Global tourism has always outpaced the economy, expected to have 1 in 4 people globally working within the industry

  2. China now accounts for 1/5th of the money spent by outbound tourists, twice as much as the next-biggest spender, the U.S.

  3. Only 5% have passports

  4. $100b now being spend by Asia based airports, hotels, theme parks for bigger infrastructure to support this growth

  5. 178 new airports are being planned in Southeast Asia

  6. Indonesia plans to build another ‘10 Bali’s’, as Thailand is also investing in high speed rail to get tourists to other parts of the country

  7. Ctrip is the 2nd most valuable in travel industry to Priceline Inc

  8. Developers are aggressively looking in Indonesia and Philippines with more than 13,000 uninhabited tropical islands, almost twice as many as all the islands in the Caribbean

The top takeaways:

  1. China’s tourists are out shopping, out spending & and out eating more than any other nation (wow!)

  2. Personalization now the fastest growing segment, FIT’s are designing their own trips (with help from companies like Ctrip)

  3. Japan, Thailand, the U.S. and Australia top the must-visit list, with Southeast Asia hotspots Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines close behind

  4. Data, social media and the digitization of travel planning is driving it all, it’s all in your pocket…

  5. Lots of new technology based companies now finding ways to add value to the travel industry

  6. Hotels and airlines are realizing they just need to give FITs control, from booking to check out

  7. Ctrip are now looking at influencing the trip at every step, from where they eat, go out and shop (talk to us more on this)

The best quotes:

  1. In China “People’s personal brands are being defined by the places they visit,” said Simon Russell, chief executive officer of London-based luxury travel group Scott Dunn (love this one)

  2. From dream to research to booking to sharing, it all happens within our platform. Big data is the foundation of tourism.” said Jenna Qian, head of destination marketing at Ctrip

  3. “I don’t need 10 guys on the ground floor with the gold keys to tell me how to travel. I’ve got a smartphone. I’ve got apps, social media. I know how to travel.” said Hubert Viriot, chief executive officer of Yotel Ltd.

  4. I noticed a new generation of younger people that is growing in numbers for whom taking holidays signifies an aspect of their lifestyle,” said Adrian Zecha of Azerai

  5. Right now, users search for information. Going forward, we want the right information, the relevant information, to be pushed to them, so they don’t even need to look for it. That’s the essential goal.” said Jenna Qian at Ctrip

It’s really exciting to see China’s appetite for travel take shape. Having lived and worked here for over 10 years I’m eager to see the magic of China’s deep culture spread to every part of the world.

Enjoy the read and Happy Year of the Dog! Woof woof!

Andrew Collins CEO + 86 134 0208 1987


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Mailman X is a China digital consulting agency for the travel industry. Reach outhere for more info.

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