China Leads World Travel Growth

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It’s official! The world’s most populous nation has joined hands with the second largest economy to send Chinese people out in droves to explore the world around them.

Spending went up 16% in the first three months of 2014 and there are no signs of travel growth abating. The two leading Chinese brands are Ctrip.com and CITS.  Greater exposure to foreign cultures will make itself felt back home in time to come.

Impact of Travel Growth on China Culture

This will dampen Communist Party efforts to curtail the independent thinking it calls unruliness in mainland China. After travellers enter foreign countries, they can explore the internet in ways that Cyberspace Administration of China frowns on. The long-term impact of this seems obvious: but what will China’s next move be?

Ctrip.com Leading Brand in Travel Growth

According to World Tourism Organisation WTO, Ctrip.com is China’s biggest online travel agency. It zeroes in on independent travellers not interested in group travel. Ctrip.com grew an astonishing 71% in brand value year on year and now has a brand valuation of $1.2 billion. This followed on the extension of its online infrastructure.

CITS Lagging Behind in Second Place

China’s oldest travel brand founded in 1954 has been unable to grasp this travel growth to the same extent. It traditionally depended on 122 brick and mortar branches catering for group travel in major cities. It has however been increasing its digital presence and recently integrated this with its storefront operation.

Leisure and Business Travel Growth in Asia

The downturn in the world economy hit Asia business hard, with the proportion of foreign business travellers departing from China, India, Japan and Singapore currently being 31%, 32%, 18% and 19% of their national totals respectively. Ctrip.com steered its brand towards leisure travel ahead of CITS, and the benefits of this show clearly in its share of personal travel growth in China.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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