The Great Debate UK

Small businesses set to reap the rewards of eastern promise


image001Ian Wheeler is vice president of marketing and distribution at Amadeus. The opinions expressed are his own.-

In the last year, 45 million tourists (near to the population of Spain) travelled from China to the West. In fact, tourism from China grew by an average of 27 percent a year between 2002 and 2008.

As western households rein in their spending and rediscover the virtue of living within their means, Chinese consumers are taking full advantage of their higher savings rates and an enormous government stimulus package. In its latest travel industry report, The Amateur-Expert Traveller, Amadeus, has highlighted the opportunity for the UK market to gear up, ready to make the most of this trend.*

The growing importance of non-western cultures in the make-up of the world’s travellers has very real consequences and opportunities for small businesses. It is essential that the UK tourism industry taps into this market and looks to develop new products, services and working practices to suit this new and lucrative influx from the East.