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Chinese wanderlust punches big hole in wallet

By WANG ZHUOQIONG (China Daily)    08:19, July 31, 2017

(File photo)

Chinese travelers are spending 28 percent of their income on average on international travel, with the millennials (those born in the 1990s) being the biggest spenders, allocating 35 percent of their income to travel, according to an industry survey.

The sixth annual Chinese International Travel Monitor report by Hotels.com said Chinese travelers of all age groups travel internationally more often and for longer, with the number of trips and number of days per trip increasing in the past year from three to four and from five to seven days, respectively.

Chinese tourists are also visiting multiple cities per trip, with over 80 percent saying they would not just stay in a single city, said the report.

The research combines data from more than 3,000 Chinese international travelers and more than 3,800 accommodation partners of Hotels.com.

This "more generation" is providing huge economic benefits to global economies. China's 122 million outbound tourists in 2016 were 4 percent more than in 2015, according to the report.

Despite China's slower economic growth rate, this year's report found spending on international travel increased across all age groups. Chinese travelers spent $3,600 on average in the last 12 months, more than a quarter of their income, and up from 24 percent of the previous year.

Jessica Chuang, regional marketing director of Hotels.com brand for Greater China, Southeast Asia and India, said the potential for growth in both the number of Chinese travelers and their spending power is enormous.

"Our research has identified that China outbound tourism offers huge economic benefits to many countries across the globe. It's therefore vital that hotels cater to Chinese travelers and develop innovative hotel services that tap into their enormous spending power."

Chinese travelers are expacted to spend an average 10 percent more on international travel over the next 12 months, with the millennials looking to increase their spend the most, with around two-thirds of the post-'80s and post-'90s consumers saying they expect to spend more.

The average amount spent per day has also increased by 8 percent from 2016, with dining, sightseeing, rest and relaxation activities proving most popular.

But shopping dropped in popularity. In 2016, 68 percent of travelers expressed an interest in shopping. That figure dropped to 33 percent this year so far.

The Asia-Pacific regions are still the most popular destinations-82 percent of travelers have visited them in the past 12 months, the report said. It also said long-haul trips to Europe and the US have increased in popularity.

In the past 12 months, the number of Chinese travelers to Europe increased by 25 percent and those to the US by 11 percent. These destinations were particularly popular with the post-'80s travelers, with 42 percent visiting Europe and 29 percent visiting the US in the past 12 months.

Looking ahead, Chinese travelers show a desire to travel even further than before, with countries such as France, the US, Canada and Germany leaping in popularity, in comparison to their rankings in 2016.

Despite not making the top 10, Latin America stood out as an appealing destination, with research showing that the Chinese visiting Latin America tend to travel and spend more-with an average of nine international trips per year to the region, compared to over four overall, and have a higher average spend of $5,600 in the region compared to $3,600 overall.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hu Ximeng, Bianji)

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