Chinese tourism to Brazil rises
Updated: 2014-07-21 06:23
By ZHENG XIN (China Daily Latin America)
Even after the surge from the World Cup, visits expected to keep coming
Despite Germany winning the World Cup, host nation Brazil also managed a win as a mass of wealthy Chinese tourists flocked to the South American country.
Brazil, along with other Latin American countries, are attracting increasing numbers of affluent Chinese and seems ordained to be the next major destination for many Chinese tourists, said Liu Simin of the tourism researcher center at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"The affluent Chinese people are increasingly enjoying trips around the world to exotic locations less frequently visited by others," said Liu. "As more have been abroad for travel and are no longer satisfied with short-haul destinations, places like the Latin American countries will soon become the new favorite for the Chinese, especially the rich."
According to Liu, after more than 20 years of outbound tourism development, the attractions for Chinese visitors have further expanded, from Hong Kong, Macao, Japan and Korea to the farther destinations including European and American countries.
And as the destinations for the Chinese visitors expands further across the globe, high-end luxury trips and customized tours in countries like Brazil, Argentina and Cuba, will be increasingly popular with the Chinese visitors, said Liu.
"Due to the less economic trade and commercial cooperation between China and the Latin American countries in the past, there were few direct flights between the destinations, and the cost for visiting the Latin American countries was high for Chinese visitors in the past," said Liu.
However, as the niche market continues growing, industry observers are very optimistic about the outlook, he said.
According to the China Tourism Academy, China's outbound tourism will witness a year-on-year increase of 16 percent, with more than 114 million overseas visits this year.
The country's outbound tourism spending is expected to rise by 18 percent this year to $140 billion from 2013, the academy said.
Tourism shopping company Global Blue told China Daily that Chinese tourists are big spenders on overseas travel, as their average spending on overseas travel in the first quarter grew 25 percent year-on-year to 846 euros (US$1,144.18) per person, compared with the global average of 502 euros.
"No destination on the globe wants to be miss out on this huge economic pie of China's outbound tourism," said Yang Jinsong, a professor with the academy.
The World Cup, together with the upcoming 2016 Olympics, will likely bring more visitors to Latin America as more of the public are interested in the exotic Latin culture, he said.
Yang said he believed as more people are eyeing the Latin American destinations, tourism agencies will come up with a variety of tour packages. Despite the absence of drastic growth, the post-World Cup period is believed to witness a steady increase in Chinese visitors to the region, he said.
According to Yang Mengyue, public relations manager of HHtravel.com, there has been an increase in the number of visitors traveling to the Latin American destinations.
According to Sun Ying, the product manager of HHtravel.com, the tour agency has witnessed good sales from World-Cup-themed travel packages that they offered to soccer fans.
The World Cup has greatly promoted the Latin American destinations to the Chinese visitors, especially the wealthy people, he said.
Many agencies in China have been coming up with post-World-Cup tours, including a Brazil-Argentina trip, a Chili-Peru trip and a Mexico-Cuba trip by HHtravel.com
The 2016 Olympic Games are expected to draw more Chinese to Rio de Janeiro, the jewel of Brazil, with its gorgeous beaches, and carnival-themed parties that feature music, dance and costumed revelry, he said.
According to a study revealed by TravelZoo, an online travel service, most of the people heading to Latin American destinations are wealthy people, older than 35, affluent and with previous overseas tourism experiences.
It estimates the World Cup that just wrapped up, together with the Olympics and the Chinese president's visit to the continent this month, should bring more Chinese visitors into Brazil, especially those with deep pockets.