[photopress:airport_crowd.jpg,full,alignright]According to a report issued by MasterCard Worldwide the Chinese mainland is expected to record 21.6 million outbound tourists in the first half of 2008 with a year-on-year increase of 12.4%.
The report attributed the booming outbound travel market to the increasing number of middle-class Chinese.
It said the number of China’s middle-class families would rise to 100 million in 2016 from 35 million in 2006 in metropolises, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
‘This, combined with the availability of low cost travel options, means Chinese travelers form a very influential group which is expected to continue to significantly shape trends in the travel business in 2008 and in years to come,’ said Dr. Hedrick Wong, economic advisor to MasterCard Worldwide in Asia Pacific.
China’s Ministry of Tourism in early January stated it recorded 40.95 million outbound tourists last year.
A joint on-line survey by market information provider Nielson and Ctrip.com, a domestic tourism website, said that about 11% of Chinese netizens whose family monthly income tops RMB8,000 ($1,095) want to travel abroad.
Source: China View