More and more Chinese tourists are traveling to BRICS countries, according to several travel agencies. According to Lvmama.com, a Shanghai-based online travel agency, in the first seven months of this year, visitors who booked trips to Russia, Brazil, South Africa and India on their website increased 180 percent from last year.
Among the bookings, about 70 percent went to Russia, while South Africa attracted the fastest growing number of visitors, almost four times more than last year.
“Culture-themed trips to Russia are popular among Chinese tourists,” said Li Qiuyan, head of public relations at Lvmama, on Thursday. A visa waiver policy for tourist groups as well as more frequent flights have driven the market.
The Belt and Road Initiative and increased Chinese consumption are also reasons that visits to Russia grew fast, according to a recent report by the China Tourism Academy and travel agency Ctrip.com. Visitors to Russia in 2016 increased 41 percent from 2015, according to the report.
Meanwhile, South Africa and Brazil have became new favorites for the Chinese. South Africa’s bio-diversity has attract parents to taking their children there for various outdoor activities. In 2016, the number of Chinese tourists to South Africa doubled from 2006.
The 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympic Games drew many Chinese tourists to Brazil. In the first eight months of 2016, the number of Chinese visitors to Brazil grew 150 percent from the same period the previous year. China, which holds the BRICS presidency this year, will host the ninth BRICS summit in September in Xiamen, Fujian Province.
Travel agencies and institutes predict that more Chinese tourists will visit BRICS countries. According to the China National Tourism Administration, 62 million overseas trips were made by Chinese tourists in the first half of 2017, up 5.1 percent year on year.