International tourism enters a new age
China is on its way to becoming the travel industry’s dominant world power – ranging from groups to individual tours – big challenges lie ahead for job training in the tourism industry
Over the next two decades the makeup of tourism around the world will change significantly. Speaking at the 18th World Travel Monitor Forum in Pisa, Professor Haivan Song of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University said: “By 2030 China will be the world’s most popular tourism destination.” In addition, he added, during the next 20 years China would replace Germany as the world’s most travelled nation. Professor Haivan Song lectures at the world’s second largest university teaching travel and hospitality courses. “When visa regulations for citizens from the People’s Republic of China eventually change, tourists from China can be expected to vastly outnumber those from any other country.“ Launched by the consultancy IPK International and sponsored by ITB Berlin, every year at the World Travel Monitor Forum in Pisa 50 tourism experts and scientists from around the world present current statistics and the latest trends in international tourism.
According to Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s forecasts, in five years time arrivals in China will have already risen from 150 to 185 million. “At the current rate, China will be an economic power equal to Europe and the US combined. China’s role in international tourism will be similar“, said Haivan Song. Relaxing visa regulations will also significantly affect the makeup of tourism out of China. “When these barriers fall Chinese citizens will also undertake tours on their own“, he added. According to the German National Tourism Board, from January to August 2010 the number of overnights by Chinese citizens in Germany alone rose to 652,459, a year-on-year increase of 28 per cent.
According to Professor Haivan Song, the travel boom forecast for China over the next two decades means the country faces huge challenges. “A massive effort will be needed in China to train people for jobs in the travel and hotel industry“, he said.
“The forecasts for the future of tourism from Asia and in particular from China are very good news for Germany as a tourism destination“, said Dr. Martin Buck, Director, CompetenceCenter Travel and Logistics, Messe Berlin. “By launching ITB Asia, an annual event, in Singapore we have prepared the ground in order to meet the needs of the growing Asian market.“