China’s outbound tourists are expected to hit 200 million a year by 2020.
In certain top destinations, hotels are beginning to reflect the travel patterns of this growing population.
Hong Kong, so far the most visited city, has experienced declines in the wake of political protests, tighter visa rules and China’s anti-extravagance push.
Hong Kong hotels recorded a 12.5 percent decline in February, the Lunar New Year month, which is typically a peak travel period for China. It is the fifth consecutive monthly drop, typified by falling occupancy and average room rates.
Hong Kong is still the most expensive hotel market in Asia, with average room rates above US$200 a night.
In contrast, Japan is increasing its appeal to Chinese travelers, with a record 359,000 visitors during the same period, up 159 percent from last year.
This is partly because of the holiday adjustment, ease of visa rules and a weaker yen.
The nation’s hotel revenue rose 14 percent in February, boosted by a 33 percent jump in Osaka, the shopping and leisure hub.
The rising wealth of China’s middle-income leisure travelers may indicate further improvement in the tourism industries of popular outbound destinations.
The views expressed in this article are those of Margaret Huang, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
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