London.- Chinese tourists spend $300 billion abroad each year, making them a force too important to ignore.
According to China Outbound Tourism Research Institute mainland Chinese citizens made 136.8 million trips across their borders in 2016 ( a 2.7 per cent year-over-year rise. And, in a significant shift from previous years, fewer than half of those trips were to “Greater China” – ie Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.
More than 70 million trips were to other destinations – an 11.7 per cent increase from 2015. That’s roughly the same as the number of Americans (66 million) who travelled internationally in 2016. But here’s a difference: the Chinese are spending far more than anyone else.
Chinese tourists spent $292 billion (£224 billion) abroad in 2015, nearly three times as much as the second biggest spenders, the Americans, and nearly five times as much as Britons abroad. These are the most recent statistics available from the World Tourism Organisation, which has predicted a 14 per cent rise in Chinese spending in 2016.