Here’s Jing Travel’s weekly guide to stories that give insight into Chinese travel trends and how they affect the industry’s main players.
For western museums striving to enhance Chinese engagement, Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum offers inspiration. The Xi’an museum’s new WeChat Mini Program provides visitors a dynamic educational tool for experiencing the 2,000-year-old site. Besides offering maps of the tombs and instructive walking guides, the program boasts 360-degree panoramic views and the ability to find the twins of individual warriors. Developed in tandem with Tencent, the program is part of the company’s drive to digitalize the world’s best known cultural institutions.
The trend of Chinese maximizing short national holidays continued with Dragon Boat Festival (June 7). In total, 6 million domestic trips occurred across the three-day holiday, a year-on-year rise of 7.7 percent, and echoes the popularity of the extended Labor Day in early May. The festival overlapped with Cultural and Natural Heritages Day (June 8) and travelers duly flocked to museums and historic gardens from Suzhou to Shangri-La. The Museum of Chinese Gardens and Landscape Architecture, for example, received 360,000 visitors.
Royal Caribbean Cruise’s China-based ships will make overnight Tokyo stops in 2020. The industry leader’s China expansion continues following the launch of Spectrum of the Seas in Shanghai, Dec 2018. Last year, 2.4 million Chinese chose to holiday on cruise ships and although Americans continue to dominate the market with over half the 26 million cruisers hailing from the U.S., China stands as the second biggest cruise-going nation with some estimating the country will hit 7 million passengers by 2030.
Fosun is lining up a bid to buy struggling British travel agency Thomas Cook. The Chinese health, leisure and financial conglomerate already owns Club Med and would increase its access to the European market for Chinese tourists through acquiring the prestige brand. Despite its 170-year legacy in the tourism industry, Thomas Cook has been struggling amid Brexit uncertainty and declining interest in package holidays.