China, with 144 million outbound travellers, is the largest outbound source market in the world – and by a huge margin! While China is attracting eyeballs from all across the globe, what has been making headlines recently is the Indian Tourism Ministry’s interest in the Chinese market and the initiatives being taken to draw 14.4 lakh Chinese visitors into the country by 2020 (10% of the global pie).
With only 2.4 lakh Chinese travellers visiting India in the last year, Tourism Minister K J Alphons renewed India’s efforts and delivered a strong pitch at a recent roadshow in Beijing to increase the inflow of Chinese travellers to India by highlighting India’s diversity and assuring visitors the paramount security.
India found its way to the top 10 popular destinations in Asia for Chinese travellers reported Hotels.com, a jump that can be attributed to increased efforts by the Indian tourism ministry to woo travelers from the world’s top tourism source-market.
Chinese International Travel Monitor report by Hotels.com™ has revealed that more than half of the Chinese travelers are traveling to India for leisure. This is attributed to India’s local cuisine (30%), rich history and heritage (25%) and the traditional handlooms, craft and shopping markets (25%), which make India an appealing destination to experience its local culture.
Star-struck by global pop-culture, film and television (62%) are now the main sources of inspiration for Chinese millennial travelers. So much so that out of the 59 per cent of Chinese travelers who expressed interest in visiting the timeless monument of love, Taj Mahal, when they visit India – 38 per cent attributed the desire to have emerged because of it being a favorite television series or film location. Interestingly, 26 per cent added Taj Mahal to their bucket-list after seeing their favorite celebrity visit it.
Travel brag moments and selfies were a huge part of the Chinese millennial travel experience in 2017, with 63 per cent using the reverse camera angle to boost those likes and build their social brand. India’s picturesque towns replete with natural beauty (62%), indigenous local food (49%) and vibrant local culture (40%) found their way to most selfie-worthy moments for Chinese travelers when exploring India.
Johan Svanstrom, President of the Hotels.com brand, comments: “Every globe-trotter likes to feel welcome in a new country – it’s no secret we all crave human connection which is especially true when we’re in a new environment. We know from the CITM report that Chinese travelers feel comfortable and most welcome in destinations when shop assistants speak Mandarin, Chinese mobile wallet is accepted, and there is signage they can understand.”
This is reflective of what the Tourism Minister addressed at the roadshow when he stated that maximum efforts are being made to ensure security of tourists which included a helpline 1363 in 12 languages including Mandarin.