Adam Majendie, Chinese Tourists Are Taking Over the Earth, One Selfie at a Time, Bloomberg, February 11, 2018
By 2021, Chinese tourists will spend $429 billion abroad, according to a report by CLSA. And they are spreading out. Weekend jaunts to the shops in Hong Kong or the casinos in Macau are being usurped by new favorite destinations. During the next three years, Japan, Thailand, the U.S. and Australia top the must-visit list, according to the report, with other destinations in Southeast Asia — especially Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines — following close behind.
As with Japan in the 1980s, citizens of nations that get rich, go places. The emerging nations of Asia-Pacific will add more than 50 million new outbound travelers in the five years ending in 2021, according to Mastercard Inc.
Through the WI Lens
We’ve addressed this theme repeatedly in previous issues of the Hospitality and Wellbeing Barometer, but we return to it because it is THE megatrend that will impact the whole industry for the foreseeable future – for good and for bad. As the author states, “we are becoming a planet of tourists” and Asia is the epicenter of a boom that is changing how we travel. China, in particular, is spreading out across the region, out-shopping, outspending and out-eating every other nation. This ‘peaceful tsunami’ of Chinese outbound tourists will soon engulf (or is already engulfing) the rest of the world, filling the coffers of businesses in hospitality and retail, and overwhelming many desirable places.
To grasp the significance of this phenomenon and why its expansion will endure, read this: “China currently accounts for more than a fifth of the money spent by outbound tourists, which is twice as much as the US – the next-biggest spender. This spending ‘performance’ is realized by a tiny fraction of the population: currently, around 5 percent of Chinese have passports.” The government is issuing about 10 million new travel documents every year!
For this new segment, affordable luxury and tech (everything has to take place on a smartphone) are becoming the two critical drivers.
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”
“All roads lead to a wellbeing anchor, whether that be economic/financial, physical, mental or emotional: all contribute to a progressive and inclusive cosmopolitan world. The answer should not be a choice of one or the other but of a joined up and compassionate solution for society, business and individuals.”
“The paradox is that we continue to do this in spite of recognising that striving to become ever-more productive is an intrinsically unhealthy behaviour, leading to stress and too often, a sense of failure.”
“The same broad-sweeping structural racism that enables police brutality against black Americans is also responsible for higher mortality among black Americans with Covid-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a Harvard epidemiologist working on the Covid-19 response, tells Vox.
The take-out from this? Wellbeing cannot exist at a more elevated level without our basic needs being met.