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But it’s not only the local economy that’s feeling the impact. Sydney Airport’s earnings jumped 22% in the past three years, according to the airport’s financial reports, in large part thanks to the growing influx of Chinese tourists. In 2017, Boeing forecast that Chinese airlines will purchase over 7,000 commercial aircrafts worth around $1.1 trillion over the next two decades, a number accounting for almost 20% of predicted new commercial acquisitions for the period. At Fosun’s Holiday company Club Med, Chinese tourists are now the second-largest group after the French, according to a 2017 Reuters report. In October, during the Chinese seven-day national holiday Golden week, Chinese tourists spent 29 million pounds ($38.4 million) in U.K. shopping centers, while pubs and restaurants saw a 23% increase in earnings that week, according to The Independent. And during the current World Cup in Russia, around 100,000 Chinese sports enthusiasts arrived in the country to partake in the event. However, despite the new freedom of the Chinese market, the government still has a great impact when it comes to the Chinese tourist, and can use its influence to make a political statement, whether through travel advisories, pressure on travel agencies, and even flight cancellations. A 2012 territorial flare-up between China and Japan over a disputed group of uninhabited islands led to a 40% decrease in Chinese groups visiting Japan in 2013, according to a 2014 article by Sidney University researcher James Reilly. In 2014, a travel advisory issued by China to the Philippines amid a territorial dispute in the South China Sea necessitated Philippine budget carrier Cebu Pacific to cancel 149 chartered flights over a three-month period at the height of the tourism season, with other airlines offering Chinese-Philippines routes feeling the strain as well, according to a 2014 BBC report.
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