The 9th edition of China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market (COTTM 2015) started here at New Hall, National Agricultural Exhibition Center, Beijing on Tuesday. The event will continue till April 16.
The event is popular among Central Asia countries and Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are attending this mega event in the region. The 9th edition of COTTM is expected to attract over 300 exhibitors from 62 countries while last year 275 exhibitors from 60 different countries came to showcase their destinations and travel services to 3,298 leading outbound tour operators from all over China.
Central Asian countries targets COTTM every year to get their share from Chinese outbound tourism market. Talking to Dispatch News Desk news agency, Mr. Ravshan of Silk Road destinations Uzbekistan was of the view that central Asian tourism market can get boost provided Chinese tourists start visiting their neghbouring central Asian countries. He was of the opinion that Uzbekistan has a long historic ties with China and Samarkand had been a popular place for Chinese tourists for many centuries in past.
The success of COTTM is its design of Business to Business (B2B) because other tourism fairs in China are not 100% B2B. China is recording annual increase of over 20% in outbound tourism and the latest projections from the China National Tourism Administration show that 100 million Chinese will travel overseas by 2015, surpassing the UNWTO’s prediction that this will happen in 2020.
Now entering its ninth year, COTTM remains the only business to business event that focuses purely on this burgeoning outbound market. It is now widely regarded in China as the industry’s most important annual platform where professionals come to do business and learn about trends and developments in their industry.
COTTM is the place to meet the Chinese outbound tour operators and travel agencies sourcing outbound destinations, products and services for Chinese travellers.
Statistics provided by the China Tourism Academy indicate that the momentous Chinese Outbound Market accounts for over 98 million outbound trips a year, which puts travel expenditure in excess of $128 billion.
Chinese outbound travel will increase by 15% to over 114 million outbound trips this year, amounting to a total of $140 billion dollars in travel expenditure (CTA, 2014).
The Chinese share of global outbound expenditure is set to rise from 1% in 2005 to 20% in 2023 (Oxford Economics).
The continued trend of growth in this industry is further supported by the fact that 54% of Chinese tourists are young, having been born after 1980 (CTA, 2014).
Whilst the majority of trips made by Chinese tourists currently consist of short-haul trips, demand for long-haul trips is increasing (CTA, 2014).
New government strategy (The Outline for National Tourism and Leisure 2013-2020) announced support to tourism development, driving outbound travel and tourism amongst Chinese nationals by encouraging workers to take paid annual leave days.
Although the Chinese market is already substantial, entire regions including the middle and western regions still show significant potential (CTA, 2014).
With a record number of Chinese tourists packing their bags and fuelling a transformation of the global outbound travel and tourism industry, China is set to overtake the US as the largest source of outbound travel spend in the world this year.
Travelling is very much a lifestyle choice for Chinese tourists, as Chinese tourists travel for the experience of travelling but also for the goods available to purchase at the destination (CTA, 2014).
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