KUALA LUMPUR, 20 November 2023: Trip.com Group has signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding with the China International Culture Association to promote inbound tourism.
Trip.com Group co-founder and chairman James Liang and chief marketing officer Bo Sun attended the signing ceremony.
The Nihao! China campaign, launched by China International Culture Association, aims to foster and promote cultural exchanges and establish friendships between China and visitors from around the world.
China International Culture Association (CICA) and Trip.com Group have signed a strategic framework agreement to implement the “Nihao! China” programme, which includes filming and producing global promotional videos and the “Nihao! China” digital communication campaign. Additionally, the framework will look to build a service platform for inbound travel and organise activities agreed upon by both sides at the China International Tourism Fair, the Sino-French Tourism Year, the China-US Tourism High-Level Dialogue, and the World Conference on Tourism Development, among other events.
Several measures to boost tourism were recently announced by the Chinese State Council on 27 September, including optimising visa and customs clearance policies, increasing international flight capacity and routes to key destinations, and improving inbound tourism products and information services for foreign visitors.
Trip.com Group will promote China International Culture Association’s Nihao! China campaigns on its platforms across various markets. The Group will curate content to showcase specific offerings and services and position China as a welcoming destination rich in history and cultural heritage.
In addition, Trip.com Group will also collaborate with Chinese cultural centres, tourism boards and other organisations to promote and showcase China’s attractions and experiences.
Over the next three years, Trip.com Group plans to invest in platform technology, marketing and promotion, and product integration to accelerate the development of inbound tourism in China.
Liang said: “To boost inbound tourism, Trip.com Group will leverage its technological expertise to enhance the ease of access for incoming visitors. Additionally, we will consolidate resources to foster tourism promotion while highlighting the distinctive tourism attractions of China to draw in global visitors.”
According to Trip.com Group’s data, the top 10 sources of inbound travellers to mainland China are South Korea, the United States of America, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Germany. The first 10 months of 2023 saw four-digit growth in visitor numbers compared to the same period in 2022. This equates to more than 60% of pre-pandemic levels.
Following the opening of China’s borders earlier this year, there has been a consistent increase in the number of China-related bookings made via Trip.com Group’s platforms across various markets. For instance, the number of Malaysia-China flight bookings during the first 10 months of the year surged by more than 125 times compared to last year, representing an increase of 47.6% over 2019. Meanwhile, Malaysian residents making China tourism bookings jumped by 82.8% compared to 2019. Based on the group’s data, the top five cities for Malaysian travellers during the first 10 months of this year were Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing and Xiamen. These were also the five most popular cities for Malaysia-based travellers before the pandemic in 2019.
The top 10 most popular cities for inbound travellers to mainland China saw Shenzhen and Shanghai toppling the list alongside other destinations such as Guangzhou, Beijing, Zhuhai, Hangzhou, Foshan, Xiamen, Zhongshan, and Chengdu. Interestingly, seven out of 10 hotel bookings made by inbound tourists are for Shenzhen, while two Shanghai hotels rank second and third in the most booked hotel list.
According to Trip.com, the demand for travel to China trips should rise shortly. This is credited to the efforts made by the government and the industry to facilitate travel. The government simplified the visa application for tourists from several countries, and since 1 November, it removed the requirement for inbound arrivals to fill in the Entry Health Declaration Card. The data collected by Trip.com shows that global search results for inbound travel to China have significantly improved in Q3 by nearly 40% compared to Q2.
About Trip.com Group
Trip.com Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising Trip.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar.