Prepare for 100 million Chinese tourists: report

Prepare for 100 million Chinese tourists: report

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Prepare for 100 million Chinese tourists: report

A Chinese couple happily help Italy’s famous Pisa Tower not to fall over. More Chines traveling abroad is reflecting the country’s spectacular economic growth. AP photo

The economic rise of the Middle Kingdom will nourish the global tourism market, as wealthier Chinese make plans to travel overseas, according to the report of a major tourism fair held in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

More than 100 million Chinese will travel abroad by 2020, according to the final declaration of the ATM Dubai Tourism Fair, one of the most important events among Middle Eastern tourism fairs. Along with China, the South Asian nations including India and Japan will be the countries sending the highest number of tourists abroad in the next five years.

Some 70 million Chinese went abroad in 2011, the report said, adding that the figure will surpass 100 million by 2020.

Tourism professionals emphasize the significance of having tourism industry workers with Chinese language skills, as well as the food and kitchen quality and culture to lure Chinese tourists.

Publicity tops the to-do list in order to get a share of the potential Chinese tourist market, however. Effective use of social media and the Internet in a broader sense to address potential tourism customers from China may lead to getting ahead of competitors, the report says, adding that nearly 485 million Chinese have access to the Internet.

The report also includes forecasts on Turkey’s share of the Middle East tourism market, which sends increasing number of tourists to Turkey every year. The report particularly cites the rising number of tourists going to Turkey for health services and treatment.

Middle East market

Religion, common cultural aspects, nature, eased visa restrictions, and multiple transportation options are among the advantages Turkey has in among Middle Eastern tourists, the report says, noting that Turkish soap operas airing on regional TV stations also play a significant role in attracting tourists to Turkey.

Turkey may lure more tourists during Ramadan, the month when Muslims fast, with active promotions in the Middle East, according to the report. Istanbul, the western provinces of Yalova, Bursa and Bolu, and the northern provinces of Trabzon and Ordu are the main destinations Middle Eastern tourists prefer.The number of tourists traveling from the Middle East

to Turkey will increase by 10 percent in 2012, according to estimates unless a major change occurs in the stability of the region, the report says.

The Arab Spring and some other factors including adverse economic and political incidents have had a negative effect on tourism in the Middle East. The rate of increase in the number of tourists in the region was 15 percent in 2010 but dropped to 8 percent last year, according to the report. It is forecasted that the region will host nearly 68.5 million travelers in 2020.