The research on Asia Tourism Trends 2019 was carried out by UNWTO with partnership of Global Tourism Economy Research Centre.Ivy Alliance Tourism Consulting was contracted by UNWTO to prepare a study on Chinese Outbound Tourism to South America as a chapter featured in the Report.
Developments in China Outbound Tourism to South America
a. Air connectivity (capacity and traffic – current situation and trends)
b. Tourism Policies
c. Marketing and Promotion (including information on the image of South America in China)
d. South America (focus on destinations and products available and most popular)
e. Main Tour Operators and Travel Channels
f. Challenges and opportunities
China Outbound Tourism to Argentina
a. Analysis of Chinese outbound to Argentina
b. Visa facilitation and air connectivity
c. Challenges and Opportunities. Policies to boost tourism cooperation between the two countries
China Outbound Tourism to Brazil
a. Analysis of Chinese outbound tourism to Brazil
b. Visa facilitation and air connectivity
c. Challenges and Opportunities – Policies to boost tourism cooperation between the two countries
Conclusions and Recommendations
Key conclusions and recommendations to enhance Chinese tourism to South America with a special focus on Argentina and Brazil (e.g.marketing, travel facilitation, product development, training, etc.)
Chinese outbound tourism to South America
China currently is the number one source market in the world in terms of both trips abroad and international tourism expenditure. The number of outbound trips by Chinese citizens showed an average growth rate of 16% each year between 2000 and 2018. The market is described as mature and diverse. Fully independent travellers (FITs), in a majority composed of millennials, dominate the Chinese outbound market which is greatly influenced by technological progress: China had a volume of 817 million internet users in 2018 and programmes such as Weibo and WeChat are extremely influential in tourism decision making today. While the bulk of the outbound market has been to neighbouring destinations, the sheer volume and potential of the Chinese outbound tourism market has not been lost on other destinations and this includes countries in South America. The chapter draws attention to the continent as a whole with specific references to Argentina and Brazil.
The South American market for China outbound visitors is inhibited by a lack of direct flights. Due to the distances and consequently time involved in flying from China to South America, surpassing 24 hours, most tours are either with one connection (68%) or two connections (32%). The package tours or even the tailor made ones, include multi-destinations are of a duration of 14 to 19 days. These tours cater to a specialized clientele of upper middle-class travellers and retirees originating from the first-tier cities in China (Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou) who have the time and means to travel. They are also seasoned travellers having visited other destinations in the past. The average cost of a trip to South American destinations ranges from USD 5,700 to USD 7,200 which is twice that of regular tour products to Europe and North America. However, despite these hurdles, the demand by Chinese outbound tourists for travel to South America is growing rapidly with an increase of 13% for Argentina, receiving 60,000 visitors in 2017 compared to 54,000 in 2016, and Brazil that showed a 7.1% growth in 2017 with 61,250 visitors. Another striking feature is the demand by Chinese tourists to visit the Antarctic: the number of Chinese tourists to Antarctica has been increasing year by year, with China becoming the second largest source of tourists in the world. Ctrip has predicted that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Antarctica during the 2018/2019 Antarctic tourism season will exceed 10,000.
The South American market is characterized by its novelty and exoticism. Sports in general and football in particular have been a great image builder, with Brazil and Argentina being the biggest beneficiaries. Natural and cultural assets of not only the two destinations but also of neighbouring countries that make up the multi-destination packages add value to the product. From the point of view of policy and promotion, Argentina and Brazil have been extremely proactive with easing of visa procedures and innovative marketing of their respective destinations in China. From a small base compared to traditional markets that provide larger numbers, Argentina and Brazil have opted for greater yields by targeting the high-end Chinese travellers.