The number of Chinese tourists visiting certain Asia-Pacific destinations fell by more than 20% in August, the Financial Times reported. Although the Olympics has been blamed for encouraging more people to stay home and watch television, the slowdown has sparked fears about the prospects for the travel industry, which is already expected to be hit badly by the global financial crisis. Chinese outbound travel rose 3.4% year-on-year in August compared to 15.5% growth for the first eight months of the year. Hong Kong and Macau remained the most favored destinations but growth in arrivals was considerably slower than earlier in the year. Australia, Thailand, New Zealand and Singapore all saw visitor numbers fall by around 25% during the month. Hawaii saw a 38.4% year-on-year drop, while South Korea and Japan posted deficits of 4.5% and 9.2% respectively. However, some industry participants expect a strong post-Olympic rebound.
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