Every year, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts the economic impact of the Travel & Tourism sector in 184 countries and 24 regions. This year WTTC forecasts that the United States and China will retain their rankings as the two biggest Travel & Tourism economies in the world, but Germany has overtaken Japan to rank as the third largest Travel & Tourism economy.
Additionally, the World Travel and Tourism Council projects that China’s investments in tourism, estimated to total US$278.7 billion by 2025, will overtake the USA’s to become top in the world. However, China will still trail the USA in terms of tourism contribution to GDP, direct GDP and domestic/overseas tourism consumption.
Although China’s economic growth has slowed down, China in the global tourism market has gained an increasingly larger share. The WTTC data suggests an annual growth rate of Chinese tourism to be a GDP of 3.8%, slightly lower than the previous year’s estimation of 4.1%. Many factors can explain why China’s high growth rates have been impacted, including the gradual loss of the demographic dividend, decline of return on investment (ROI) year by year, unfavourable external environment, slowing productivity growth , transformation of the economic structure and others.
The contribution of the tourism industry in China’s GDP will increase from 9.8% 2014 to 10.5% 2025 and tourism employment in the total employment rises from 9.4% 2014 to 10.7% 2015, mainly due to strong growth demand in the emerging market and a growing consumption trend in tourism, in addition, the support of the government and the companies to meet the large demand of tourism infrastructure and talents.
Besides the surging number of visitors, Chinese tourists are now also the high-spenders.
In 2014, border crossings into and out of China numbered 110 million and the figure is expected to surpass the 500 million mark over the next five years.
With the ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy which is rolled out by Chinese government, analysts noted that China will bring huge tourism cooperation opportunities to the world.