While Chinese consumers may be cutting back in some areas as a result of the economic downturn, one area that is not taking a hit is travel. According to the latest China Outbound Travel Monitor from Nielsen, 85 percent of Chinese travelers said that they "definitely" or "probably" will travel outside the country at some point over the next 12 months.
"Even under current financial pressures, the Nielsen China Outbound Travel Monitor shows that the Chinese travel market continues to boom and is likely to grow further. The interest lies not only among the experienced traveler, but also among novice travelers. This should serve as a boost of confidence to the travel industry," said Dr. Grace Pan, Head of Travel and Leisure Research with Nielsen China.
Short haul trips, such as those to Hong Kong (the most mentioned place to visit), Macau or Taiwan, were the most popular, with more than 60 percent of travelers intending to visit those destinations. Thanks to a recent agreement that allows Mainland Chinese to travel to Taiwan in groups, Taiwan showed the greatest increase in interest. In 2007, just three percent of respondents said they planned to visit Taiwan.
"Historic ties with Taiwan - a destination that has not been an option for many years - make it a destination of much interest to Mainland Chinese, and we expect to see tremendous growth potential for travel to Taiwan in the years to come," said Dr. Pan.
Top Planned Destination Countries
|Country||% Identifying As Planned Destination|
|Source: Nielsen China Outbound Travel Monitor|
* Note: multiple answers allowed