China to overtake France as No. 1 tourist spot
LONDON — China is set to overtake France as the world’s No. 1 tourist destination by 2030 as a growing middle class in Asia looks to spend more on travel, according to experts at market research group Euromonitor International.
In a recent report, Euromonitor said it is predicting there will be 1.4 billion trips made in 2018, up 5 percent from last year.
By 2030, international arrivals are expected to have risen by another billion. China is expected to have overtaken France by then to become the world’s top destination.
Much of the sustained boom in travel and tourism is centered in the AsiaPacific region, where trips are expected to grow by 10 percent this year. The region has benefited from rapidly growing economies as well as an expanding middle class that seeks to spend disposable income on leisure.
Euromonitor’s senior travel analyst, Wouter Geerts, said the gradual process of loosening visa restrictions has made traveling in the region easier, with 80 percent of arrivals in Asia originating from the region.
He also said sporting events will likely further boost the region, with Tokyo hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and Beijing the 2022 winter event.
Other bright spots in the forecast are countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, which have seen sharp falls in tourist numbers over the past few years linked to security concerns.
Europe is also proving resilient and growing strongly despite economic and political turmoil in some countries and a slew of extremist attacks in recent years.
Euromonitor warned that the U.S. tourism industry could face a hit if the trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalate. As the middle class in Asia expands, China is poised to become the world’s top tourist destination by 2030.