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Taylor Nelson Sofres releases New Research on Chinas Outbound Tourists

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Thursday, 24 April 2008

New research from Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), a world leader in market information and insight, shows that the US could emerge as a new highlight for Chinas outbound tourists. For a long time, the destinations most frequently visited by outbound Chinese tourists were Hong Kong and the neighbouring enclave of Macau.

But that is set to change. One driver for this is the agreement sealed in December 2007 between China and the US of terms for Approved Destination Status (ADS) for the US. Under ADS, Chinese nationals can obtain a tourist visa for entry to the US, provided that travel is organized by a tour operator approved by the Chinese National Tourism Administration (CNTA). Another driver for interest in the US is the continued depreciation of the US dollar.

The study discloses that, prior to confirmation of ADS for the US, around 20% of those planning to tour outside China in the coming 12 months cite the US among their favorite destinations. Among women, the figure rises to 23%. Among potential visitors aged 36 or above, the figure is even higher at 29%, ranking the US in the top five, alongside Europe, Hong Kong, Australia/New Zealand and South Korea, and beating the traditional favourite of Southeast Asia.

But following the confirmation of ADS, the possibility of visiting the US rises dramatically. Over half (54%) of all respondents give a resoundingly positive answer. For those aged 36 or above, the figure rises to 65%. The lure of the US is aided by the depreciation of the US dollar, with 66% of respondents saying this is a factor influencing their decision. Women are more influenced by the attractive exchange rate than men (72% vs. 62%).

Jim Sailor, Managing Director TNS China, said, The United States is increasingly becoming an attractive and feasible destination for Chinese travelers now that China and the US have sealed the agreement for approved destination status. The study provides us with some interesting insights into what motivates the Chinese to  visit the US and the sorts of activities they will get up to during their trip.

What is Americas favourite city among Chinese? When asked to name their top three US cities (choosing from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Seattle, Chicago and Houston), New York City appeared in 72% of the answers, followed by Los Angeles (named in 47% of the answers), San Francisco (41%), Las Vegas (35%) and Washington D.C. (30%). Seattle, Chicago and Houston were the bottom three choices, at 22%, 17% and 13% respectively.

The TNS study reveals a hunger for the great outdoors, with seeing the Grand Canyon as the top choice (24%). Viewing New York City from the top of the Empire State Building came 2nd with 15% while touring the White House (13%), visiting the Statue of Liberty (12%) and visiting Disneyworld in Florida (11%) accounted for 2nd through 5th places. Wine-tasting in California and driving down Route 66 fired the imagination of only 2% of respondents in each case, putting these options at the bottom.

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