This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

November 13, 2002

New Generation of Tourists

Over the past decade or so, tourism-related companies enjoyed substantial business from a large number of Japanese citizens. With the relative value of the yen against other currencies, Japanese took advantage of reasonable costs to travel heavily in the United States and other countries. Americans and Germans have also been active international travelers, boosting the economies of the countries they visited.

Tourism has waned over the past couple of years, influenced and softened by a weak global economy and the unsettledness and uncertainty caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Other terrorism and unrest around the world has inspired many travelers to stay closer to home. With the influencing factors in transition, forecasters suggest that leisure and business travel will increase significantly over the next few years.

The new tourists who will contribute strongly to the reenergizing of the tourism industry are the Chinese. These citizens are beginning to venture outside their country on vacation trips, particularly in tour groups with established itineraries and arrangements. Last year four million Chinese traveled abroad. That number could quadruple over the next three years, suggest observers. The World Tourism Organization believes that 100 million Chinese tourists could be taking in the world's sites by 2020. This trend is great news for the tourism industry, particularly since Chinese tourists tend to spend more that tourists from other countries.

Language barriers are dropping as Chinese citizens, particularly young people, learn English. The methods used by Chinese schools may help these tourists speak better English than the people who speak English as their Language barriers are dropping as Chinese citizens, particularly young people, learn English. The methods used by Chinese schools may help these tourists speak better English than the people who speak English as their primary language. Since English is spoken in tourism areas in many countries, English-speaking Chinese travelers will expand their destinations from Thailand, Australia, and Turkey to numerous other locations around the world.

The more assertive countries attracting Chinese tourists will include Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Hong Kong, Finland, and Switzerland. Other countries will follow suit, opening their borders and negotiating with Chinese government agencies that organize tours. Hundreds of new travel agencies have been licensed by Beijing.

Chinese citizens, like their government, will become stronger actors on the world stage.

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