An inbound growth has been observed this year in the number of visitors from China to the UAE. This has prompted the UAE-based TIME Hotels Management to augment its strategic marketing efforts in order to target this increasingly influential sector as the number of Chinese travelling overseas is forecast to hit 84 million by 2015, and 100 million by 2020.
TIME Hotels Management to meet key travel buyers at forthcoming Chinese Visitor Summit. The group is looking to grow inbound Chinese visitor numbers as dragon economy forecast to reach 84 million travellers by 2015.
The World Tourism Council (WTC) say around 70 million Chinese travelled overseas in 2011, up by over 38 per cent on 2010 figures, of which an estimated 300,000 Chinese tourists visited the UAE last year spending $334 million according to Mastercard research.
“Officials have released data that shows outbound tourism from China has grown 20 per cent in the first five months of 2012, which is consistent with our experience and that of the Dubai market overall. We too have seen a significant increase of inbound Chinese business to our Dubai properties over the last 12 months, with the TIME Grand Plaza in Al Qusais reporting an 86 per cent rise in room nights year-to-date from leisure visitors, and our Al Barsha property, has been witnessing a rise in Chinese corporate business, especially long-staying guests,” said Mohamed Awadalla, Area Vice President, TIME Hotels Management.
Per capita spending by Chinese visitors is also reportedly the highest, at Dhs4,092 compared with Dhs3,477 per average British tourist and Dhs3,996 per average Kuwaiti tourist. But this pales almost into insignificance once compared with global spending figures of $72 billion last year, ranking third highest spenders behind the Germans and Americans at $84 billion and $79 billion respectively.
To capitalise on opportunities to grow this lucrative sector still further, TIME Hotels Management is participating in next month’s inaugural Chinese Visitor Summit, jointly organised by Dubai-based NPI and i2i Group China, which will bring together over 75 top tier Chinese travel buyers — with budgets exceeding $5 million — with leading tourism industry suppliers.
Clearly one of the main drivers is retail, vice chairman of Dubai Duty Free, Sean Staunton said of the annual turnover of $1.46 billion, some 18 per cent was attributed to Chinese travellers, although they made up less than four per cent of the total numbers. Forty per cent of watch sales, 32 per cent of cosmetics and 20 per cent of sunglasses were made to that market. Indeed, according to Global Blue, a shopping tourism company, 20 per cent of all global tax-free shopping is made by Chinese shoppers.