By 2030, this Asian country is expected to be the world’s travel powerhouse. Source: Shutterstock.
ONE East Asian country is working its way up to the top, possibly knocking France off the throne to become the world’s top tourist destination by 2030.
It is also the world’s top spender in international tourism and has led global outbound travel, accounting for 21 percent of the world’s international tourism spending, or US$261 billion – China, the future world travel powerhouse.
According to a Euromonitor International research, rapid economic growth in Asia, loosened visa restrictions to China, and a booming middle class with higher incomes in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan have led to the increased flow of visitors to China.
“As well as receiving more visitors than any other country in the world, it will also have the largest number of outbound travelers, overtaking the US and Germany, with 260 million outbound tourist trips by 2030,” The Guardian reported.
China now contributes the largest share of tourists to the Asia Pacific, with millennials and Gen Z-ers making up a good portion of the group.
According to a survey by Phocuswright and Bloomberg Intelligence, up to 60 percent of the country’s total outbound travelers are millennials and Gen Z.
The number of Chinese outbound tourists grew by double digits as a percentage each year from 2002 to 2013. In 2016, there were 135 million Chinese outbound travelers, a six percent increase from 2015.
Currently, 120 million Chinese citizens hold passports. That is about 8.7 percent of the population. But the number of Chinese passport holders is expected to double to 240 million by 2020.
Research author and Euromonitor International consultant Wouter Geerts said tourism was now one of the key pillars of the Chinese economy.
Additionally, major sporting events such as the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will also provide a significant boost in international travel to the region.