FOXTROTS

Fox – sly. Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.
Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

2009 April 25

Breaking China. Travel numbers.

We have become used to fast growth for China – both inbound and outbound travel. Well, not everything goes up for ever.

China’s inbound travel in 2008 fell – totals have not yet been finalised but around 7%. In fact, much of this decline was self-inflicted. Before the Summer Olympic games in August, China formally tightened its visa policies – partly as a result of the Tibet disturbances, and partly to avoid problems during the Games.

We know of perhaps the most-extreme case, when the (foreign) person responsible for security during the Games was refused entry! (This happened about two months before August; we presume he was eventually accepted.)

Meanwhile, outbound travel by Chinese citizens appears to be still growing fast, even if less fast than before. In 2007, the total increased 19% to 41mn. And according to our calculations, it increased 9% in 2008.

But don’t get too excited about those big numbers; most of them are heading just across the border to Hong Kong and Macau.

The Fox