Forget an unstable stockmarket and a slowing economy, China’s outbound travel boom is tipped to continue with Chinese traveller numbers forecast to grow 16% in 2015.
This follows an increase of 20% in 2014, according to the China National Tourism Academy, which said 107 million Chinese tourists ventured overseas during the year, spending USD164.8 billion.
But the Chinese gambling hub of Macau has been missing out with government anti-corruption reforms hitting visits hard.
Gambling revenue is down, falling 36% in August compared with last year, and there appears little prospect of a rebound.
Nor is there much hope for Macau to reinvent itself and diversify away from gambling revenue the way Las Vegas has done.
“For all the foolish people out there that think non-gaming is going to save the day, it’s not,” Melco Crown chief executive Lawrence Ho recently told the Macau Daily Times.
“Unless Macau wants to pick itself up and move to Las Vegas, it’s never going to change.”