One way China is overtaking the U.S. that might surprise you4 minutes
When you think tourist, the stereotype of the sunburnt, sandal-wearing American is often the image that often comes to mind. But as China’s middle class experiences strong growth, look for a new wave of tourists and businesspeople to influence world travel. Already, China is reporting record travel numbers. Last year, its citizens took a reported 4.5 billion domestic and international trips. That’s nearly three times the country’s total population.
China’s travelers with disposable income are a top reason why the country is expected to replace the U.S. as the world’s largest aviation market by 2022, according to the International Air Transport Association’s 20-Year Air Passenger forecast.
Middle class growth
The passenger base in China is growing faster than the airline industry predicted, and that’s inspiring airlines to adapt their businesses to cater to this powerful and expanding market. China’s digitally connected and aspirational middle class represents 300 million consumers — and that number is growing. As people are traveling in record numbers, they’re also using internet-connected devices en masse, and that’s causing a significant shift in the airline industry.
As airlines adopt inflight Wi-Fi and capitalize on the personalization capabilities of inflight entertainment systems, they’ll soon be finding themselves moving at warp speed to meet the demands of Chinese passengers. Asian-Pacific, and particularly Chinese, customers rely heavily on mobile platforms in their day-to-day lives and carry those same expectations when they travel.
“China is more advanced than the EU or U.S. when it comes to mobile technology. That's why you have to offer Wi-Fi onboard. You have to be able to connect throughout the journey. That's what they expect and that's how we build a platform that also creates loyalty,” says one top airline exec.
Read details in “How the Airline Industry is Adapting to China’s Exponential Growth.”