Companies looking for growth in China’s outbound travel sector will not be disappointed. Pent-up demand is considerable, disposable incomes are rising, and travel restrictions are being eased. In many ways, the market is still in its infancy, with few clear leaders. However, optimism must be tempered with a clear understanding of China’s scarce and often unreliable data, its fragmented market, and the diverse characteristics of its tourists, as well as the need for real consumer education. Companies that commit to learning about consumers’ tastes and preferences, demonstrate a willingness to educate people about their products and the joys of international travel, and possess the resources to create distinctive products that meet local needs will benefit from the wealth of opportunities in serving China’s new breed of travelers.
Ronald Haddock ([email protected]) is a vice president and director of Booz Allen Hamilton in Greater China. He has been in Asia since 1997, serving multinational corporations and local clients from Booz Allen’s offices in China, Korea, and India.
Kevin Ma ([email protected]) is a senior associate with Booz Allen Hamilton in Shanghai. He has extensive experience with multinational corporations and Chinese companies in the travel and tourism and high-tech industries in the Asia Pacific region, with a focus on Greater China.
Edward Tse ([email protected]), a vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton, is the firm’s managing partner for Greater China. In 1993, he was the partner in charge of China’s first authorized office among all the leading global strategy consulting firms. Since then, he has advised hundreds of Chinese and foreign companies across the full range of strategic issues facing companies in China.