Asian Tourism. Future Challenges in a post-western world


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Conference by COTRI's director Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt in the II International Asian Tourism Congress held by Casa Asia in Barcelona (February'2011)

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Asian Tourism. Future Challenges in a post-western world

  1. 1. China Outbound Tourism Research Institute Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, Heide / Beijing ASIAN TOURISM –FUTURE CHALLENGES IN A POST-WESTERN WORLD
  2. 2. China Outbound Tourism Research Institute• COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute is the worldwide leading independent research institute for analysis, consulting and quality assessment relating to the Chinese Outbound Tourism market.• Headquarter in Heide/Germany, China office in Beijing• Director: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS Active in P.R. of China since 1978 Former owner of Inbound Tour Operator China->Europe COTRI founder and director since 2004 Professor at West Coast University of Applied Sciences Powered by
  3. 3. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteThe Main Players - BRICBrazilRussiaIndiaChina
  4. 4. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteAnd what about Japan?Stagnating since 2000 below17 million outbound trips: Aging society Dim economic prospects Young Japanese with decreasing interest in international travel→ Still major Asian source market, but relative importance decreasing
  5. 5. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteAnd what aboutPost-Western World?We in the West have an odd way oflooking eastward. It is odd because it isat the very latest a late-19th centuryway of seeing.The Asia in our minds resembles adisassembled machine. It is long ondata (the lowest form of knowledge)and short, very short, on understanding(the highest form of knowledge).(P. Smith 2010)
  6. 6. China Outbound Tourism Research Institute Some insightsfrom the last two days
  7. 7. China Outbound Tourism Research Institute“Asian Tourism” and “Europe” are very big anddiverse entities, making it difficult to facilitatemeaningful understanding.As we have already done throughout most of thecongress, let’s concentrate on <The impact ofChinese and Indian Tourism on Spain>.
  8. 8. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteEvery country, destination and tourism serviceprovider has to work it’s way through the“Acculturation Curve” (after Hofstede 1994) EuphoriaIgnorance Adaptation DespairMost major European players have arrived at the“Adaptation” end in Chinese/Indian inboundtourism. Spain as a late starter is getting nearto the “Euphoria” point.
  9. 9. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteThe late start provides a chance for Spain toavoid the mistakes suffered by early movers inthe field.However, to be able to learn it is necessary tounderstand that not the Asian outbound tourismhas just now started, but that it has only now gotinto the focus of many stakeholders in SpainThe Indian and Chinese outbound travelers arealready since a decade in the middle of a processof learning, sophistication and segmentation
  10. 10. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteIt is necessary to acquire meaningful data:“60% of Chinese outbound travelers are between30 and 50 years old” will not help to develop acustomized offer: A Chinese person born in 1980 grew up in aworld of uninterrupted economic growth A Chinese person born in 1960 grew up in theCultural RevolutionBeware of averages - On average there are twocars per km² in China. Still traffic jams in the bigcities are remarkable.You are only interested in the top 10% of society
  11. 11. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteKnow what you are selling: It is easy to get a fake FCB shirt for a few dollarson every Indian or Chinese street market – still FCBsells lots of expensive shirts in both countries There are enough sightseeing and leisure offersavailable inside the countries to last for a lifetime –still international travel is the wish of every upwardmobile person in China and increasingly also India The name of the product is PRESTIGE, STATUS, BRAGGING POWER and sometimes money laundering…
  12. 12. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteSpain is such a wonderful country not only for Europeans – let usshare it with the rest of the world!
  13. 13. China Outbound Tourism Research Institute So, finally:Future Challenges for the Chinese and Indian tourism source market
  14. 14. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteDevelopment of Chinese outbound tourism:Today: Biggest tourism source market in Asia 4th biggest tourism source market in the world Segmentation of market in - low price/bad quality mass market and - “FIT” / ”MICE” high-end marketTomorrow:Future strong growth as main travel motivationbragging power remains important.No. 1 global source market within this decade
  15. 15. China Outbound Tourism Research Institute2000: Global marketshare 1.5%2010: Global marketshare 5.8% (est.)2000: One out of67 internationaltravelers from China2010: One out of17 internationaltravelers from China
  16. 16. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteThe greater picture: After three decades ofunprecedented economic growth combined withthe replacement of socialist and internationalisticideas with consumerist nihilism and nationalism,the Chinese society in 2011 is at the cross-roadsin it’s development: Internally the way of modernization withoutmodernity has run its course Externally the Deng Xiaoping policy of "keep alow profile and never take the lead” (稻光养晦,taoguang yanghui) is no longer applicable
  17. 17. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteRadiating Soft PowerThe Chinese government, after decades of tryingto stem the tide of international travel demand,has discovered outbound tourism as a Soft Powertool to show off to the world the economic mightof China but also to show the “friendly face” ofChina especially in AfricaMost Chinese tourists support the idea that theyare “ambassadors” of China abroad
  18. 18. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteP. Smith (2010) compares China today – mentally,not economically – to Meiji Japan in the 1880s,trying to modernize while inventing a fake past asan identity anchorOther commentators liken China today to Japan1989 or even to Japan 1937New 8 m high Confucius statue atTiananmen Square unveiled on Jan. 11, 2011“Party officials use Confucius as a Father-Christmas-like symbol of avuncular Chineseness rather than as the proponent of a philosophical outlook.” The Economist Jan. 20, 2011
  19. 19. China Outbound Tourism Research Institute Chinese outbound travelers will continue to travel but they have increasingly higher expectations of being treated with respect as representatives of China – as rulers of the world. Develop your Chinese quality brand Adapt your Train your staff
  20. 20. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteIndian tourism has been hypedas the next big thing already fora number of years – until nowboth inbound and outboundtourism is underperforming“Why is there – compared withmany other countries – so littleinternational tourism in [and outof] India?” (Hannam, Diekmann 2011:137)
  21. 21. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteChina 2010: 48 billion US$India 2010: ca. 10 billion US$
  22. 22. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteBut: Indian outbound travel is growing, the Indiansociety is moving towards more and more equallyshared development not the least thanks to ITadvances.Compared to China, Indian tourists will be “easier” towelcome in Spain, partly because of their greaterknowledge of European culture and Europeanlanguages.
  23. 23. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteVisitors from both major Asian countries, home of 2.5billion people, need to be treated according to theirspecific expectations, preferences and behaviour.This is easier said than done. Is it impossible? NO.Develop your quality brandAdapt your productTrain your staffDevelop your cultural understanding(the highest form of knowledge)
  24. 24. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteMelbourne: Supporters of Li Na, first Chinese finalist in a Grand SlamJanuary 2011, telling her “Your Motherland people pray for you”
  25. 25. China Outbound Tourism Research InstituteThank you for your attention!Thank you Casa Asia for organizing theCongress!Contact: