The Great Debate UK
– Ian 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.
from The Great Debate:
While China has been outspoken in expressing concern about the United States printing too much money, those worries might be better focused at home. No country beats China when it comes to effective monetary easing.
Beijing has scrapped lending quotas, adopted a loose monetary policy and kept interest rates at a four-year low to boost liquidity and promote growth. The policy has worked. China has lent out more money in the first four months of this year than the whole of 2008. Money growth in China is up more than 25 percent this year, versus about 10 percent in the United States. Click here for a related graph.
from The Great Debate:
As the financial crisis forces American consumers to curb their shopping binges, the world starts to realize that China's high savings level has some upsides, marking Chinese consumption as the most resilient in the world.
Beijing has to, however, be careful in how far it goes to encourage domestic spending to help the economy ride the global downturn. Credit-driven booms and consequent busts from the United States to South Korea are pointers to the need for caution.
James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Even in the good times, many British consumers were borrowing against their houses just to fund routine consumption, indicating a big hit to come for retail sales and for the banks who hold the loans.
With house prices falling rapidly and mortgage debt tougher to get, it is no surprise that homeowners are less able and inclined to borrow against their houses in order to spend.