Check out this report from the UNWTO:
WTO: China Will Become The Largest Travel Destination By 2020
February 5, 2007
The World Tourism Organization says that by 2010 China will exceed Spain and become the world’s second most popular travel country, and by 2020 it will become the largest travel destination in the world.
The Madrid-based organization says that despite the appreciation of RMB value in 2006, China’s inbound tourists increased by 6% in the year and reached 49.6 million.
WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli and Marketing Information and Promotion Department director Johann Kestner both estimate that China will see faster growth and will exceed Spain in the next four years.
Frangialli says that China, which has abundant capacity in tourist reception facilities, will probably surpass France by 2020 and become the most popular travel destination in the world.
WTO statistics show that China’s outbound tourists increased from 20 million in 2003 to 31 million in 2005.
Wow!Â With so much growth, that means there’s a huge opportunity.Â And I’m already in China!Â Especially in China, where the industry is not nearly as developed as in the US or Europe, there are so many issues yet to be worked out, such as service, transportation, language difficulties, the intimidation factor, etc. So now the question is, what is a good business plan to take advantage of that report?
The problem with businesses in the travel/tourism industry is the margin is tiny.Â People start businesses and work in the travel/tourism industry for the sheer love of travel and helping others to travel.Â The barriers to entry in this field are quite low, buyers power is high (brand recognition is low), and the threat of substitutes is high. (Porter’s 5 Forces.)Â These factors combine to keep margins in this industry quite small.
Nonetheless, I, like so many others want to start a business in the travel/tourism industry, particularly related to China.Â I’m starting to brainstorm and have a couple of ideas, but I welcome any others however wacky they may be.Â Feel free to offer suggestions or business ideas in the comments below.