The China Tourism Academy (CTA) announced estimates for the year 2010, saying that about 54 million Chinese traveled outbound, spending about 48 billion US$. For 2011, an increase of only 3 more million travelers but of 7 billion US$ additional spending was predicted by CTA.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director of the COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, based in Germany and China, commented on these figures: “Compared to the 47.7 million outbound travelers in 2009, the estimates by CTA represent an increase of more than 13%, the second-highest growth rate since 2004. This also exceeds the planned growth rate of 9% per year which was published by the State Council in November 2009.”

Prof. Arlt further pointed out: “Spending is growing faster than the numbers of travelers, which proves that the importance of trips beyond Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, which are included in the official Chinese statistics, is growing and that at the high-end of the market more Chinese are able and willing to spend considerable sums of money on prestigious trips abroad.”

The estimate of just three million more outbound travelers in 2011 compared to 2010 as predicted by CTA looks very conservative. COTRI predicts for 2011 again a double-digit growth rate, which would bring the total number of borders crossings out of Mainland China beyond the 60 million mark. Prof. Arlt: “Without extraordinary circumstances like a new SARS or Swine Flu scare, there is no reason why the affluent Chinese consumers should stop showing off to the world their increased purchasing power in the major tourism destinations of the world. The increasing direct foreign investment of Chinese companies overseas also results in more business travelers from China going places.”

COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute is the worldwide leading independent research institute for research, consulting and quality assessment relating to the Chinese Outbound Tourism market. It is based in Germany.