Libmonster ID: CN-1246
Author(s) of the publication: ZHANG BI YUI



Post-graduate student of the ISAA of Lomonosov Moscow State University

China Keywords:tourism industryoutbound tourism

The tourism industry is one of the fastest growing industries in China. Both inbound and outbound tourism, as well as domestic tourism, are popular. Of particular interest is the development of outbound tourism, which was practically absent in" pre-reform " China. The article will focus on mainland China, while another article will focus on the development of tourism in Taiwan.

After booming over 30 years of reform and opening-up, China's economy has become the second largest in the world after the United States. The medium - and long-term forecasts for the development of the Chinese economy are generally optimistic. Incomes of the population are increasing, and the country's image in the world is strengthening. China's tourism industry is taking an increasingly strong position in the global travel services market. In turn, tourism has a significant positive impact on the development of such sectors of the economy as transport, communications, construction, agriculture, contributes to the better use of natural and recreational resources, preserves cultural and historical heritage, and also stimulates the development of cities, territories and regions, provides employment for their population.

The development of outbound tourism is directly related to the overall economic situation in the country, and since the Chinese economy has been developing very rapidly in recent decades, it is not surprising that the number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad is growing by an average of 20% per year. According to the Chinese Academy of Tourism, approximately 70 million tourists left the country in 2011 - 13 million more than in 2010. Most of the trips were made to Hong Kong (Hong Kong) - 2.81 million (23.9% more than in 2010) and Macau (Macao) - 1.61 million. (growth of 20.49%) 1.

International experts say that within the next 5-7 years, China can become a world leader in both outbound and inbound tourism. A similar conclusion, in particular, was reached in one of its studies by the German Commerzbank2.

The high potential of the Chinese tourism market is evidenced by the growing solvency of our tourists abroad. According to the Chinese Tourism Academy, in 2011, my compatriots spent more than $72 billion outside the country. Against $55 billion in 2010, the Chinese ranked third in the world in terms of spending on foreign travel after tourists from Germany and the United States. This trend is fueled by the fact that the number of millionaires in China is growing so fast that in the near future, according to forecasts, the Middle Kingdom will overtake all other countries in this indicator. According to research by the Chinese Hurun Institute, in 2010 29% of all Chinese people traveling abroad were considered wealthy tourists, although in 2009 this share was only 16%. Last year, Chinese millionaires made an average of three trips a year, with women traveling three times as often as men3.


The level of development of outbound tourism, as you know, indicates the degree of openness of the country. An important factor limiting the development of outbound tourism in China was domestic politics. However, it is now being liberalized, and restrictions on travel to other countries are likely to continue to decrease. In recent years, the procedure for obtaining foreign passports has been significantly simplified, the number of travel agencies accredited to work in outbound tourism has increased, and the list of countries officially recommended by the Chinese government for visiting for tourism purposes has expanded. This has led to significant changes in the structure, dynamics and geography of outbound tourist flow from China. 4

The formation of this flow took place in several stages, covering an increasing geographical area.

The first stage was the opening of Hong Kong and Macao, which are classified as "outbound" (foreign) in the Chinese accounting system. The second is the restoration of previously suspended cross-border tourist exchanges with neighboring countries in the south-eastern regions of China - with Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, and in the north-eastern provinces - with Russia, the DPRK, the Republic of Korea and Mongolia. The third stage was the authorization of tourist trips to most of the countries of Southeast Asia (SE). In the future, the turn came to travel to Australia, New Zealand and the United States, which meant the next stage was coming - the Chinese "outbound flow"broke out of the region.

Now 85% of all foreign trips of Chinese citizens are made in Asia. Among foreign destinations, due to their geographical location and cultural similarity, East and Southeast Asia are the most popular. Among European countries, Germany and the United Kingdom are in the lead. In the Americas, the lion's share of Chinese tourists comes from the United States and Canada.

page 60

Hong Kong and Macao are the oldest and most accessible destinations, accounting for up to 75% of outbound traffic. The main goals are visiting friends and relatives (more than 70% of tourists in Hong Kong and 60% in Macao do not stay in hotels) and shopping. The number of groups, tour prices and specific (per person) travel expenses are gradually decreasing. Hong Kong is characterized by an increase in the share of transit travelers and those who arrive for less than a day. Overall, Hong Kong and Macao are traditional destinations for first-time travelers abroad.

Cross-border trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Russia, North Korea, the Republic of Korea and Mongolia have played a significant role in the development of outbound tourism in China. Travel is carried out on working visas or as part of a visa-free tourist exchange. As a rule, most visitors come from administrative districts that have access to the border.

Special mention should be made of the "official" tourist destinations (REL). There is a group of countries that have received the status of "approved tourist destinations", which is confirmed by the Chinese government to facilitate the departure of Chinese citizens to these countries. Travel is organized "in a simplified mode", according to quotas, and only those included in these quotas are issued tourist passports and visas. In recent years, the list of such officially recommended countries for travel has gradually expanded. By the beginning of 2003, 22 States had REL status, and by the end of the same year, 28 were already there, most of them in Asia. In 2004, 13 countries of the European Union joined them, and in 2005 - 66 more countries, including 8 African ones. Currently, 146 countries and territories are open to tourist travel by Chinese citizens.

Departure to other destinations is also possible, but subject to obtaining a different, non-tourist visa. Chinese citizens travel to these countries on the basis of commercial, cultural or educational exchanges. Most travelers register as members of business trips or at the invitation of friends and relatives.

Most of the outbound flow from China is accounted for by residents of the largest cities and economically developed provinces (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Jiangsu, Guangdong). In 2008, out of 3.7 million Organized travel groups accounted for more than half of those in Beijing and Shanghai, with the rest coming from the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Guangdong provides the largest share of China's outbound market - 33.5%. Travel from the border provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Yunnan, and Guangxi is mainly focused on neighboring countries-Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Thailand.5

Residents of major cities-Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou-have different views on outbound tourism. Beijing residents focus on entertainment and educational tourism, and do not limit themselves too much in spending. Shanghainese are more practical. Guangzhou residents, when traveling, focus on good food and entertainment. Travelers from this province prefer Japan. Winter tours, particularly to the Republic of Korea, sell best in southern China.


Analyzing the social structure of the outbound flow, we can note the following: the largest group is tourists aged 30-40 years. Unlike Western countries and Japan, which are characterized by tourist activity of "third-age" people, there are almost no people older than 50 in the Chinese outbound flow. This is due to a number of reasons.

We often call the older generation "lost". These are people who did not receive proper education due to the "cultural revolution" of the 1960s and 1970s and "have no taste" for learning about a different world than Chinese. In addition, our pensioners are more focused on taking care of their grandchildren than on recreation. Therefore, the outbound flow is dominated by relatively young people representing the new, rapidly developing China.

It is not easy to classify tourists by income level due to the existence of many privileges in our country, the role and significance of which is difficult to assess. Privileges (subsidies for housing, the availability of official transport, free lunches) provide a part of the population with a higher standard of living, with relatively low earnings. As a result, the consumer power of such people is much higher than their official income, especially since the prices of most goods in China are relatively low.

In general, Chinese tourists traveling outside of Asia have a higher social status. The majority of them are men (58%): aged 35-44 years (62%), married (76%). This is the most educated part of society (61% graduated from college or university). More than a third (37%) of them are highly qualified specialists or hold managerial positions, 69% represent a relatively well - off part of the population (monthly income of more than 3 thousand yuan).

Travel goals also differ significantly for different social groups. So, in 2011, 37.63% of tourists went abroad for the purpose of recreation, and not for shopping or visiting relatives. The share of this group increased by 4.15% compared to 2010. In addition, Chinese tourists are increasingly paying attention to the subject of tourism, as well as amenities during travel and in the host country. This encourages the host country to create more comfortable conditions for travelers, including visa processing procedures, customs services, convenience of using credit cards, as well as ensuring travel security.6


In this regard, it is interesting to consider the peculiarities of outbound tourism of Chinese citizens to the Russian Federation.

page 61

For the Chinese, Russia has a number of advantages over other countries. These include geographical proximity, transit position between Europe and Asia, a variety of recreational resources, simplified formalities, historical ties with China, and long-term experience of tourist exchange between the two countries. Russia is the closest carrier of a contrasting European culture to China.

Recently, there has been a steady increase in tourist traffic between the two countries. That is why 2012 was declared the "Year of Russian Tourism" in China. As the official events of this year are completed, Chinese travel companies have begun counting their "harvest" - the number of outbound tourism operations to Russia. According to data from some well-known travel agencies, at the peak of the tourist season, the outbound tourist flow from China to Russia increased by more than 1.5 times compared to the same period last year. In 2012 979 thousand Chinese visited Russia, including 343 thousand tourists. This is 47% more than a year earlier.7 Chinese tour operators are full of confidence in the further development of this market, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Russian statistical agencies also reported a revival of tourist trips from China to Russia. The Committee for Tourism and Hotel Management of Moscow recently reported that in the first half of 2012, the Russian capital received about 107.2 thousand visitors. The number of Chinese tourists increased by 43% compared to the same period in 2011. The fastest growing tourist flow to Moscow from far abroad countries is recorded from China.

One of the main reasons for this, of course, positive trend is that against the background of the "Year of Russian Tourism" in China, the tourism authorities of the two countries made particularly active efforts to promote the numerous attractions of Russia, and many travel agencies even competed in the market by providing new original travel programs and improving the quality of service. All this allowed Chinese citizens to enrich their knowledge of Russia and strengthen their desire to see the neighboring country with their own eyes.

The decision to continue the newly established tradition and hold a new "national tourism year" in 2013 in the two countries was made by the leaders of China and Russia by mutual agreement. During the" Year of Russian Tourism " in China, the two sides held more than 200 joint events, including the Beijing-Moscow 2012 motor rally, a major tourism media project "Hello, Russia", as well as a number of forums on cooperation in the tourism field. In addition, both countries actively worked to implement the signed agreement on the mutual abolition of visas for group tourism between the two countries.

Many Chinese travel agencies, in turn, have developed new programs to attract Chinese tourists to travel to Russia. Li Yan, Director of the Department of Special travel programs at Zhongxin Travel Agency, noted that in 2013, the travel agency headed by her developed new routes for Chinese people based on the already traditional route "Moscow + St. Petersburg" - "Moscow + St. Petersburg + Golden Ring" / ancient Russian cities northeast of Moscow/ and "Moscow + St. Petersburg +" Silver Ring " / Novgorod and Kronstadt/. The routes "Russia + four Nordic countries" and "Russia + Baltic states"have also been added. In total, the travel agency offers 5 options for routes to Russia.

It should be recognized, however, that there are certain problems in the Chinese market of tourist trips to the Russian Federation now. The choice of tourist routes and tour programs is relatively small, quality control and cost of service leave much to be desired, and the tourist infrastructure in Russia is also imperfect. Despite this, the majority of Chinese tour operators expect that in the future we will continue the trend of increasing the flow of tourists to Russia.

Diao Shuang, General Director of the Center for Outbound Tourism to Europe of the Zhongguo Qingnian travel Agency, notes that Russia, with its rich culture and beautiful nature, remains one of the most attractive countries for Chinese people. If earlier groups of tourists in the Russian Federation consisted mainly of relatively middle-aged Chinese people who were brought up in the Soviet culture and have retained their attachment and high respect for the neighboring country to this day, now more and more young people are also eager to visit Russia. In her opinion, to increase the scale of outbound tourism from China to the Russian Federation, we need real support from the governments of both countries, and from tour operators - both Russian and Chinese - to constantly update programs and improve the quality of service. Diao Shuang, in particular, said that her travel agency plans to offer eco-tourism programs around Lake Baikal in the near future and will form Chinese groups to travel to Russia for hunting purposes.

Shao Qiwei, Head of the State Tourism Administration of China, said at the second meeting of the China-Russia Tourism Cooperation Forum held recently in Shanghai that the two countries should consolidate the positive results of the" Year of Russian Tourism " in China in 2012 and do everything possible to ensure that 2013, the "Year of Chinese Tourism" in Russia, will be a successful year for Chinese tourism. no less successful 8.

1 Annual Report on the development of tourism in China. 2011. Beijing, 2012( in Chinese), p. 27.

2 Asia and Pacific. Tourism Market Trends. 2011 Edition. Madrid: WTO, 2011, p. 28.

Lu Fen. 3 Study of modern tourism in China. Beijing, 2011( in Chinese), p. 21.

Nechaeva A.V., Sazykin A.M. 4 Razvitie vyezdnogo turizma v PRC [Development of outbound tourism in China]. Issue 4. Smolensk, Universum Publ., 2006, p. 41.

Wang Dejun. 5 State of international tourism. Beijing, 2011( in Chinese), p. 47.

6 Yearbook of Chinese Tourism 2012. Beijing, 2012( in Chinese), p. 58.

7 Ibid., p. 61.

8 Ibid., p. 58.


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