Chinese films, TV shows boost travel destinations

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-9-30 18:03:45

Inspired by homegrown films and TV shows, more travelers this year plan to explore destinations that had previously not been on Chinese tourists' radar.

According to data released this month by, a Chinese outbound travel website, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Switzerland have emerged as promising overseas destinations for tourists this year.

The website attributes this phenomenon to hit shows and movies featuring the countries.

Released in February, romance movie Somewhere Only We Know, directed by famous Chinese actress Xu Jinglei, served as an advertisement for the Czech Republic, where the film was shot.

Two travel-reality shows, Sisters Over Flowers and Divas Hit the Road, aired in March and April, respectively.

Both featured well-known Chinese actors backpacking their way through Europe and included Turkey as a destination.

It isn't the first time tourists have looked to TV and movies for travel ideas.

Chinese tourists have flocked to Thailand since late 2012, when Chinese comedy Lost in Thailand, shot on location in the northern city of Chiang Mai, became a blockbuster in China.

According to statistics from the Thai tourism authority, Thailand welcomed about 4.7 million visitors from China in 2013, jumping 68 percent from 2.7 million in 2012. The 2014 number dropped slightly to 4.5 million.

The newly released Lost in Hong Kong, a sequel to Lost in Thailand, is expected to boost Hong Kong tourism in the last quarter of 2015, given its strong box office performance so far.

Lost in Hong Kong has grossed around 890 million yuan ($140 million) in its first six days since its debut on Sept. 25, according to, a movie ticket sales platform.

Due to last year's Occupy Central movement and follow-up protests, mainland travelers' enthusiasm for Hong Kong has chilled.

Data from the Hong Kong tourism authority showed the number of mainland overnight visitors fell by 14 percent year-on-year during the three-day Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday in April.

Hong Kong witnessed an even larger year-on-year decrease of 15 percent in mainland visitors during the peak season of July and August.

But now, some Chinese travel websites have regained confidence in Hong Kong tours and already planned routes related to the movie to attract visitors.

About 107 million Chinese traveled overseas in 2014, marking nearly 20-percent year-on-year growth, according to an official report issued by the China Tourism Academy in late August.

Chinese outbound visitors accounted for nearly 10 percent of the global total last year, the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) said in a market research report released earlier this month.

The WTCF noted that over half of Chinese tourists travelled to other countries more than once last year, thanks to improved standards of living and rising income.

According to, Japan, Italy and the United States are the top three overseas tourist destinations for Chinese travelers during the upcoming seven-day National Day holiday, which starts on Oct. 1.

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