The hotel industry in China could top $100 billion USD in the next few years according to a new Pacific World report released this week at PCMA Convening Leaders 2020. The study, China Destinations Development Report: What’s Ahead?, revealed the massive scope of China’s growth, trends and MICE industry developments.

The growing economic giant is on pace this year to add 130,614 guest rooms for a total of 6.3 million rooms with 786 new hotel properties. In total, an estimated 2,174 projects are in the pipeline, with many of them being built in Chengdu (124), Wuhan (111), Xi’an (80) and Hangzhou (73).

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Infrastructure Expansion

More travelers in more cities requires increased transportation investment to accommodate all the new foot traffic. And China is all over it. The current number of airports is set to increase to 450 from 238by 2035. The first on deck will be Chengdu Tianfu International Airport (airport code TBA), set to complete construction this year and open for operation in the first half of 2021.

Two other infrastructure initiatives will pave the way for all these additional visitors. Made in China 2025 is the 10-year, state-led initiative to strengthen China’s place as a leader in tech through investments in innovation and infrastructure. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), first announced in 2013, is the country’s plan to connect various areas around the world to several hubs in China through infrastructure investment and economic development via roads, highways, railroads and pipelines.

Two links set to be constructed by the BRI project are the 12,000km (7,456 mile) China to London Rail Link, which starts in London and ends in Yiwu, in the Zhejiang province, and the 837km (520 mile) Sino-Thai Rail Link, which will travel from southern China to Laos to the east coast of Thailand.

Destination Diversification

The country hopes to station more of its cities on people’s mental maps. Pacific World anticipates several of China’s cities will emerging as MICE destinations. Beijing and Shanghai are already established destinations. Expect to hear more about  Xi’An, Chengdu, Xiamen, Shenzhen and Hangzhou over the next two years, and Nanjing, Ningbo, Wuhan and Qingdao in 2024 and beyond.