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How do wealthy Chinese spend money overseas?

By Liang Jun (People's Daily Online)    08:23, January 25, 2016

In recent years, more and more countries have begun taking measures to attract Chinese consumers due to their growing purchasing power. Data from China's Ministry of Commerce shows that overseas consumption of Chinese people in 2015 is estimated to have reached 1.2 trillion yuan. China remains the world's largest consumer of outbound travel.

But in which countries did Chinese people spend their money and what did they buy? According to UnionPay International, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States are the favorite destinations for Chinese tourists.

In Japan: Chinese tourists spent an average of 14,870 yuan in the third quarter of 2015

Chinese tourists paid nearly 5 million visits to Japan in 2015—an increase of 107 percent from the previous year, according to Japan's official figures. China has become Japan's largest source of tourists; out of every four foreign visitors, one is from the Chinese mainland. In the third quarter of 2015, Chinese tourists spent an average of 14,870 yuan in Japan, 51 percent of which was spent shopping. The strong purchasing power of Chinese tourists has injected new vitality into Japan’s weak economy.

In South Korea: Per capita consumption of Chinese tourists reached 14,283 yuan in 2015

The number of Chinese visitors to South Korea is estimated to have been 6.11 million in 2015, accounting for more than 40 percent of foreign travelers to the country. Official data show the per capita spending of Chinese tourists reaches some 14,283 yuan in South Korea, more than twice that of other countries. In 2015, Chinese tourists' spending on accommodation, transport and shopping contributed 22 billion USD to South Korea’s economy, about 2.6 percent of the country's GDP.

In the US: Young people are the new force in US consumption

Due to the launch of a new policy wherein the US issues ten-year tourist visas to Chinese visitors, the number of Chinese people traveling to the US reached 3 million in 2015, 16 percent higher than in 2014. The per capita consumption of Chinese tourists amounted to between 6,000 USD and 7,000 USD--much higher than that of visitors from other countries. Meanwhile, Chinese overseas students in America have become a new force in US consumption.

In Australia: Chinese visitors help Australia fulfill 10-year goal in five years

In 2015, Chinese tourists paid 1 million visits to Australia and spent about 35.5 billion yuan in the country, helping Australia to achieve its 10-year goal in only five years.

To attract more Chinese visitors and provide better services, many travel agencies are hiring Chinese-speaking tour guides and setting up Chinese language websites.

Over 50 percent of spending goes to shopping

Data shows that over 50 percent of spending done by Chinese tourists goes to shopping. They spent relatively less on jewelry, tobacco and wine, but more on daily necessities and at supermarkets. 

Additionally, more and more Chinese people are beginning to buy handicrafts and paintings. Chinese tourists have become more rational in their spending, switching their priorities from luxury goods to vacations, said Wei Zhihong, general manager of the European branch of UnionPay International.

(One dollar is equal to roughly 6.58 yuan.) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Liang Jun,Wu Chengliang)

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