Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.
—Mary Ritter Beard
If you are in the business of serving tourists and business travelers and you do not have a comprehensive plan in place or being executed to serve Chinese travelers, you may not be in business much longer.
Paul Biederman, a professor of travel and tourism at New York University and a former high-ranking TWA executive, provides a good introduction to the way in which China's super consumers are changing the face of global travel and hospitality: “With the largest population on earth, a rapidly expanding middle class, and relaxed government restrictions on overseas travel, it was inevitable that China would become the 800-pound gorilla in the international travel market.
“That expectation became reality in 2012 when, according to UN/WTO statistics, China became the world's leader in both numbers of outbound travelers and total overseas expenditures. Since then, China's positive margins have only widened. The United States, once the world's leader in both categories, is an ever-distant second. In 2014, China's outbound numbers and spending were expected to reach 110 million. What's so auspicious about China's volume of outbound tourism is that only 11 countries in the world have populations as large.
“Tourism represents the type of spending that comes naturally to middle-class consumers along with other components, ...