Not long ago, taking vacations away from home was only eligible for a small group of wealthy people in China. But now, thanks to the country’s quick economic growth as well as the stable rise of average incomes, this is no longer the case. China’s tourism industry has witnessed unprecedented development in recent years. The country’s tourism market is worth RMB 4.69 trillion ($705 billion) in 2016, a 13.6% rise from RMB 4.13 billion in 2015 (in Chinese).

While inbound travel still accounts for a major part of the market, the outbound tourism industry has experienced exponential growth. And the momentum continues. China is now the number one source market in the world since 2012, following a trend of double-digit growth in tourism expenditure every year since 2004. Mastercard’s Future of Outbound Travel report indicated an average growth of 8.5% each year between 2016 and 2021.

The quick boom of China’s tourism industry in market size is surely impressive. But when observing from another angle, the impact of this trend on China’s tech world is hardly less significant, not only on online tourism platforms but also on China’s globalizing tech startups in general.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.