China Changes the Rules of Travel

The world of travel is defied by two distinct areas; business and leisure travel. In both segments China has changed the game quite dramatically over the last few years.Put another way, because of it’s size China has and will continue to change the rules of travel for many years to come. Here’s what you need to know in order to understand and prosper from this mega shift in influence.

China’s business travel market has become the number one business travel market in the world, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Revised figures in the new report from the GBTA Foundation show China edged past the United States in total business travel spending at the end of 2015 by a billion U.S. dollars, finishing the year with $291.2 billion in spend compared to $290.2 billion respectively. China will soar ahead in 2016 with business travel spend forecast to grow 10.1 percent. Business travel spend in China continues to be dominated by domestic business travel, which comprises 95 percent of total business travel spend.

The Leisure Travel Market is Also Dominated by China.

According to a report from the National Academy of Economic Strategy and Tourism Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China’s booming domestic tourism market saw more than 120 million Chinese people traveling overseas in 2015. China visitation to the U.S. increased by 16 percent in 2015. In addition, the report offered an analysis of China’s inbound tourism.

But not all of China’s tourism news is rosy, China’s inbound tourism has been choppy in recent years, with the number of inbound tourists dropping by a few percentage points since 2012. To help boost inbound arrivals, the Chinese government has been changing policies to provide more convenience. The 72-hour visa-free stay policy for foreign visitors is continually expanding. There are now 18 cities on that list. Southern parts of Guangdong province will even roll out a 144-hour visa-free transit policy for international visitors. Based on statistics from the China National Tourism Administration, inbound arrivals have been increasing over the last 11 months. As of November 2015, the number of inbound travelers to China had increased 4.4 percent over the previous year.