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TTC Special: After the hurricanes the Caribbean should look to China

TTC Special: After the hurricanes the Caribbean should look to China

By F. Martin

TTC Service.- One effect of the recent and destructives hurricanes in the Caribbean is that it have made the region look to China, the largest tourist emitting market in the world and, moreover, a country with much money ready to invest in the leisure industry.

According to Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), officials in the region have been urged to undertake initiatives that will directly target China’s outbound tourism market. Chris Spring of the US-based China Ni Hao marketing company said during the 2017 State of the Tourism Industry Conference in Grenada last week that his recommendation is for websites and other marketing activities to be the Chinese language.

He also recommended that all tourism promotional agencies including the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) install Chinese language converters on their websites.

No businessman related to tourism should ignore the advice.

China Tourism Academy (CTA), the official tourism research institute of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), issued “Tribute to the Chinese tourists – 2016 China outbound tourists large data” a report that shows that in 2016 the number of outbound tourism in China reached 122 million people, and Chinese visitors spent $109.8 billion (about 760 billion RMB) in overseas destinations.

The number of China’s outbound tourists reached 122milion in 2016, increasing by 4.3% compared to the year of 2015 with 117 million outbound tourists. China has remained the world’s largest number of outbound tourists for consecutive years.

It is estimated that Chinese travel agencies organized more than 50 million tourists to travel overseas, most of them follow the group in 2016. Among 122 million outbound tourists, group travelers account for 40%, and individuals are over 70 million accounting for 60%. Chinese tourists still endear to group travel, especially in second, third and fourth-tier cities and regions, but individual travel will be an irresistible main trend in near future.

Are not these figures sufficient? There is more.

Estimates indicates that by 2020, 100 million Chinese tourists will seek destinations in the world to make expenditures of US $120 billion.

“The big bet is to make Caribbean tourism an attraction for Chinese investment. In recent years, investments from the Asian giant helped create modern sports stadiums and buildings, and to finance infrastructure projects”, recently published the official web of the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB).

According to Richard Bernal, counselor at the IDB, there is no single strategy in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in relations with China. Trade flows and investments depend on diplomatic relations.

The catastrophe caused by cyclones during the current season in the Caribbean left very negative consequences in terms of deaths and economic losses.

A positive result could be to look frankly at the Chinese market.