Chinese tourism is not just an industry, it’s a force, a double-edged sword that can make or break or break markets. For evidence look no further than the contrasting fortunes of Macau and Australia.
In November Macau’s gambling revenue fell 32% over the previous year, the 18th straight monthly fall.
Meanwhile income from tourism services slumped 15% in the September quarter according to govt figures.
Contrast this to Australia, where Chinese tourism numbers are booming.
The October inbound visitor stats show a 26% year on year increase in visitors for the month to about 96,000.
Meanwhile visitors from Hong Kong, counted separately but also part of China, rose 17% to 20,000 over the same period.
Combined this means China is now the biggest source of visitors to Australia at 116,000, overtaking reliable New Zealand on 108,000 October visitors.
And there’s no end to this trend in sight. Good times are ahead.
That is unless the Chinese government switches tack and turns off the travel tap, just like it did with Macau in cracking down on gambling junkets.
So bad things can happen and, as every gambler knows, it’s wise to hedge your bets.
But when you’re on a roll it often doesn’t seems necessary.