Chinese tourists continued to spend more than any other country's outbound travelers last year, while more than doubling the spending by their US counterparts, according to data released this week by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Chinese tourists spent 262 billon USD on foreign trips in 2016, a 12% increase over the figure in 2015, while the number of outbound tourists rose 6% to 135 million in 2016. Meanwhile, outbound travelers from the US, the second largest outbound market for tourism spending last year, spent 122 billon USD abroad. Travelers from Germany, the United Kingdom and France trailed behind and made up the top five spenders.
People cross a street outside a tax free department store popular among Chinese tourists in Tokyo, Japan, February 11, 2016. [Photo: Reuters/VCG]
The UNWTO said that China has been the largest outbound travel market since 2012 and that 2016 marked the 13th consecutive year that China saw double-digit growth on outbound tourism expenditure.
The growth of China's outbound tourism benefited not only many short-haul destinations in Asia and the Pacific, most notably Japan, South Korea and Thailand, but also long-haul destinations including the US and Europe.