WAVERTON – THE CHINESE ARE COMING

WITH RECORD OUTBOUND CHINESE TOURISTS NUMBERS THIS YEAR, WE DISCUSS THE IMPACT

From the ancient temples of Angkor Wat to the overcrowded hotel buffets in Bangkok, it is clear that the Chinese middle-classes are on the move. Contrary to popular opinion, we believe this is a good thing.

In the last decade the number of outbound Chinese tourists has tripled to 135m and are expected to reach 200m by 2020(1). Whereas in 2008 over 60% of outbound travellers were destined for Hong Kong and Macau, today the breakdown is more mixed and the nations of Southeast Asia are emerging as clear beneficiaries.

This is a double positive; it provides empirical evidence of the middle-class emerging in Asia, second and more importantly for us it supplies the destination countries with engines for economic growth. For example, Thailand, against the backdrop of weaker consumer confidence, played host to 8m Chinese tourists in 2016 up ten-fold since 2007; tourism now accounts for 20% of GDP in the country(2)