China’s overseas tourism market is growing and the momentum will continue, according to an annual industry report released on Oct 13.
The Annual Development Report of China’s Tourism 2017 showed that 122 million overseas trips were made by mainland tourists last year, up 4.3 percent from the year before. A total of $109.8 billion was spent during these trips, an increase of 5.1 percent from 2015.
The report, released by China Tourism Academy in Beijing, said a majority of Chinese tourists who traveled overseas were middle－and high-income consumers. Those who spent 5,000 to 20,000 yuan ($760 to 3,040) on each overseas trip accounted for three-quarters of all Chinese tourists traveling abroad.
They preferred medium-priced or budget hotels and tended to choose self-planned, customized travel itineraries, the report said.
Although large cities and developed provinces in East China remain the major sources of Chinese tourists traveling overseas, some western Chinese provinces and regions, such as Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai and Xinjiang, are also catching up as they are witnessing more residents traveling abroad, according to the report.
It is the 13th time that the academy has released the annual report.
The academy found that the number of trips to countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative has grown notably.
While early predictions expected that Chinese tourists would make a total of 150 million trips to these countries and regions during the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-20), incomplete statistics from the academy showed that last year alone saw at least 50 million trips made to these destinations.
Another major change is that Chinese tourists are enjoying pure sightseeing more than shopping during their trips overseas.
Jiang Yiyi, director of the international department at the academy, who participated in the compilation of the report, said that with a prosperous Chinese economy, more supporting policies and mature tourism facilities, Chinese tourists’ willingness to travel abroad will keep growing and their needs for overseas tourism will become more diverse in the future.
She added that the peer-to-peer economy and new payment approaches have already proved that new policies and technologies could better cater to Chinese tourists.
“I strongly suggest that some national policies be carried out and implemented, both in China and abroad, to attract more Chinese tourists and facilitate more trips overseas, particularly to destinations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, because there is a great potential there,” she said.