eLong Chairman: China’s Tourism Industry Unfazed By Slowdown

With 112 million Chinese travelers expected to make overseas trips this year alone, China’s economic slowdown doesn’t seem to faze its tourism industry.

That’s the conclusion of Henrik Kjellberg, chairman of eLong, one of China’s largest online booking companies, in a new Financial Times video interview on China’s tourism prospects despite economic adversity.

“I would say none,” says Kjellberg, commenting on what effects the slowdown has had on the tourism industry. He says that with the rise of mobile internet use in China for bookings and a huge proportion of people starting to travel both internationally and domestically, growth is still in the respectable high single digits.

Kjellberg says that the bulk of travel in China is still domestic, and that group travel is tourism’s fastest growing sector. Still, China’s outbound tourism looks rosy, with Kjellberg estimating China to be one of the top three tourism markets in the world. He says that while a lot of outbound travel is still group travel, increasing experience and easing visa restrictions will eventually boost individual travel.

”Whilst the international part of Chinese tourism is interesting and good, there is still so much to do just within China,” says Kjellberg, who predicts that China’s car rentals, hotels, and airports will be catering to this crowd for the foreseeable future.

(Featured image: Flickr/Andy Enero)

 

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