Out Of Asia


In this fast-paced world, customer preferences are changing constantly when it comes to travel and shopping preferences. Perhaps this is most evident in the Asian tourism market and ATM highlights the main trends for 2016 outbound Asian travellers.

  1. Chinese Millennials – Free Independent Travellers

It is anticipated that by 2030, China will have 300 million millennials, representing 22 percent of the population. These will include:

  • A group made up of young people with high disposable incomes.
  • People with a keen interest in travel – four times a year.
  • White-collar professionals who often make more money than their parents.
  • Those who are comfortable travelling to far-off destinations, with an appetite for adventure.
  • Those who are also less likely to rely on travel agents, favouring word-of-mouth recommendations and social media.
  • Younger generations who have realised that group travel may not offer the best quality in terms of unique experiences.
  1. Special-Interest Travel

The introduction of bush camps to engage in educational and inspirational wildlife programmes, aimed at providing something more than the standard safari. This enables the curious and explorative Asian travellers to learn about the environment and wildlife, and not just view it from a safari Land Rover.

  1. Less Government Travel

Pure business travel still accounts for a significant portion of total Asian arrivals – at 40 percent. The Chinese government has clamped down on unnecessary business travel, with lower budgets than in previous years. This has resulted in substantially less government travel into South Africa. However, delegations do still come to look for investment opportunities and joint ventures between the two countries, so the opportunity for well-packaged business travel solutions remains for Africa.

4. The Rise Of ‘BLeisure’ Travel

According to a report released by the InterContinental Hotel Group, entitled ‘China Outbound’, by 2023 nearly two thirds of total Chinese outbound travel will be leisure driven – a shift away from the business focus of the past, but around 22 percent will consider combining the two. As much as 20 percent of Asian travel to the Western Cape is bleisure – or a combination of business and leisure. This means attending a conference and enjoying some leisure-time activities, such as visiting natural attractions or heritage sites.

5. Political Unrest Driving Travellers To Southern Africa

Asian arrivals into southern Africa will rise and fall in response to the conflict situations that plague much of the Middle East, North Africa and even, to some extent, Europe. Chinese travellers are very concerned about security and will choose relatively safe travel destinations. Turkey and Egypt were very attractive to the Chinese market, but now these travellers are looking elsewhere and may consider South Africa, as well as other southern African countries as a safer alternative.

Compiled by: Melissa Jane Cook




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Bewitched by the magic of France, Melissa Jane Cook is an intrepid explorer. A lover of traversing the globe, she eagerly absorbs different cultures and laps up the magnificent oceanic experiences. Wooed by words and writers alike, her penchant for facials, chocolate, owls and bugs, is surpassed only by her fascination with the stage aglow in lights or bookshelves that heave with stories, where characters invite her along on their marvellous journeys.