In H1 2015, the total number of outbound and inbound tourists in China reached 127 million, with an increase of 9.8% year over year according to China Tourism Academy. The number of inbound tourists reached 65.1 million, with a YoY increase of 4.5%, which exceeded outbound tourism (61.9 million visitors) by 3.2 million. After several years of sluggish, China’s inbound tourism was beginning to show a momentum of steady recovery.
While in the past nine quarters, the number of inbound tourists showed a downward trend, which was in obvious contrast with the thriving outbound market. Statistics show that since 2012, the number of China inbound tourists kept declining, with the decrease rate of 2.5%, 2.2% and 0.45% respectively each year, while the increase rates of outbound tourists were 16.7%, 18% and 16% respectively.
The increase of China inbound market was influenced by the recovery of the market in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. In recent years, tourists from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have always been the main source of tourists to the mainland, and the tourists number of the three regions was much higher than other foreign inbound tourists.
In 2014, nearly 130 million people came to China, among which Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan tourists in total accounted for 79.49%; and foreigners totaled 26,360,800 passengers. The top three inbound countries were South Korea, Japan, and the United States according to China Tourism Board.
To attract travelers from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to the mainland, the tourism administration has made some efforts. From July 1, 2015, Taiwanese who hold a valid mainland entry permit could enjoy the visa-free policy.
Also read: China Tourists Travel Intention Study 2015