Synopsis: China should become the #1 source of overseas travellers to Canada by 2018. In the meantime, Greater China should be overtaking UK visits to Canada. With China fast becoming the #1 source of world tourism, growth from Northeast Asia is now key to Canada’s Travel & Hospitality industry. The author explains why and concludes on the importance of raising awareness and to understand travel intentions.
The stellar performance of Northeast Asia is driven by its three main markets: China, Japan and South Korea, the latter a country whose rate of increase for overnight arrivals in the last two years led among Canada’s eleven major international markets: the US, France, Germany, UK, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Mexico.
* * * * *
Over this decade, visits from those three Northeast Asian countries continue to grow twice as fast as the top three markets from Europe (the UK, France and Germany). That is in terms of year-to-year change in overnight trips to Canada, as the diagram above shows from a report for Jan. to Nov. 2016 by Destination Canada.
“China represents the largest international “long -haul” market in the world.”
A global digital market researcher who specializes in North American Education and Tourism industries engaged with Northeast Asian markets, Mr. Bonin* projects for 2017:
- For the first time, travellers from what is culturally defined as the Greater China Region (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) are likely to have the largest number of overnight arrivals to Canada from oversea. Until now, the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) held that #1 position.
- Overnight arrivals to Canada from China should reach 750,000 in 2017, an increase of 25% over 2016. This is a base scenario likely to happen with more direct flights from Chinese cities just being added recently. It could even be higher given the celebrations in 2017: Canada’s 150th anniversary of the creation of the British North American Act in 1867; also the 375th anniversary of the foundation of Montréal, a city anticipating 110,000 Chinese tourists, a 30% increase over 2016.
In the first eleven months of 2016, over 575,000 Chinese travellers had explored Canada, up 24% from same period in the previous year. (Source: Destination Canada)
- The growth rate of overnight arrivals from China to Canada should represent twice the growth of all Canada’s ten major overseas markets combined.
- Chinese travellers to Canada should continue to spend twice the number of nights recorded over recent years by UK visitors, the oversea country with the next best record in that regard.
- By 2018, China is heading toward beating the previous Peak Year record of 908,806 overnight arrivals from overseas established in 2006 by the UK which until then Japan had held since 1996.
Ref. Destination Canada, Tourism Snapshot, Dec. 2014 See Page 4 from: http://en.destinationcanada.com/sites/default/files/pdf/Research/Stats-figures/International-visitor-arrivals/Tourism-monthly-snapshot/tourismsnapshot_2014_12_eng.pdf*
The importance of raising awareness and to understand Chinese’s travel intentions
“Canada’s offer fits well with the emerging trend in China for independent travel, off the beaten track, and an experience quite different from the traditional groups tours which many Chinese travellers have enjoyed in the past. Beautiful scenery is the main product interest, and an attribute that Canada is well-placed to provide.”
…The challenge is raising awareness of this fact – Chinese travellers are simply not familiar with what Canada can offer.
“…This presents a great opportunity for Canada, given the fact that awareness is somewhat easier to attack than preference over competing destinations. Marketing efforts should be focused on the very early stages of the path-to-purchase”. (quoted as reported on page 5 from Global Tourism Watch 2014 China Summary Report published by Destination Canada).
That is in reference to the the A.I.D.A. formula of events to the buying process. For more on best practices to engage online early on with the outbound Travel and Study markets and prospects of Northeast Asian origin, the most dynamic in the world, one can access a related slide presentation by Mr. Bonin* with detailed notes through this link: TEN TIPS TO BE FOUND EARLY ONLINE IN JAPANESE, CHINESE AND KOREAN.
* * * * *
See Michel Bonin’s publications in a series on Best Practices to be found online in Chinese, Japanese and Korean available through his website and his posts published on LinkedIn Pulse.