When China sneezes, the rest of Asia gets a cold
From quiet markets in Malaysia, empty rooms in Hanoi’s hotels and barren beaches in Bali, China’s economic slowdown and weakening yuan are sending shockwaves felt across south east Asia’s vacation belt. Thailand is just one of many countries currently affected by the Chinese staying at home as their currency abroad weakens.
The Chinese outbound travel boom stoking tourism across south east Asia is now in reverse gear. And the abrupt decline of Chinese packing their bags for a holiday is becoming a painful lesson for the countries that became overly dependent on Asia’s top economy and its burgeoning middle class.
Rising incomes over the past decade fueled Chinese consumers and their hunger for travel, making them the world’s largest outbound travel market with the total number of outbound trips more than doubling from 57 million trips in 2010 to 131 million trips in 2017.
Now, the slump is expected to continue into 2020 if the US-China trade war continues to weigh down the Chinese economy.