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Chinese tourists shift from shopping to culture

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Chinese tourists move from shopping to cultural experiences
Chinese tourists are becoming less interested in shopping and more into cultural experiences, new statistics show. Chinese travel preferences show an increasing interest in cultural destinations, according to insights by GfK and ForwardKeys.
The top three travel destinations for Chinese holidaymakers are South Korea, Thailand and Japan, with huge spikes in advance bookings for the April to September period. Air ticket purchases to South Korea have increased by 85% over the same period last year, and Thailand and Japan have seen bookings rise by 60% and 50%, respectively. For the Chinese, all three countries are seen as cultural destinations. But the number of visitors to Hong Kong for the same period has plunged by 48%.
“Trips to Hong Kong from China are down, affected to some degree by the yellow umbrella protest that took place over an extended period of time in the fourth quarter of last year,” Laurens Van Den Oever, global head of travel and hospitality at GfK, explains. “A GfK study on the destination image of the top five Asian countries among Chinese reported that the key draw of Hong Kong is shopping; and the decline in tourist numbers could mean that shopping is no longer a priority for mainlanders.”
TTG Asia
[pictured: Seoul, South Korea]

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