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Outbound travel inclination still strong_China Travel

updated: 2009-06-19

The financial crisis has not dampened Chinese mainlanders' enthusiasm for outbound travel, with Hong Kong ranked as the top overseas travel destination this year, a report by ACNielsen has revealed.

A majority of mainland travelers, or 85 percent of the interviewees, said they would "definitely" or "probably" travel outside the mainland within the year, either for leisure or business, a similar percentage as that in 2008, according to the survey by the global market research company.

The report also showed that even among non-travelers, 78 percent expressed their desire to travel this year, 19 percentage points higher than in 2008.

The survey was based on interviews with 4,000 Chinese mainlanders aged 18 to 59 across 26 cities from January to February this year, before the H1N1 flu pandemic occurred.

"Despite the economic slowdown, the Chinese mainland outbound travel market continues to boom, and is likely to grow further," said Grace Pan, head of Travel and Leisure Research, ACNielsen China.

Tour operators, however, said that the H1N1 flu pandemic, which spread further across the globe in May, has dealt outbound tourism quite a blow, especially to destinations in North America, Europe and Japan.

The ACNielsen survey result was also in sharp contrast to a recent report by IPK International, the world's largest tourism consultancy, which said the global tourism industry would come to a standstill in 2009.

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