Outbound Chinese tourism expenditure to reach US$264 billion in five years
By 2019 the number of Chinese tourists will total 174 million spending US$264 billion, up 60% from 2014.
China's outbound tourism has enormous potential, with only 5% of the country's 1.3 billion population holding passport China is already the top global tourism spender. It is anticipated that Chinese outbound tourism’s annual expenditure will equal Finland’s GDP and exceed the size of Greece’s economy in five years.
Merrill-Lynch projects that by 2019 the number of Chinese tourists will total 174 million and they will spend US$264 billion, up 60% from 2014.
A Merrill-Lynch analyst compared the global craze of China's outbound surge to the Japanese tourism boom 30 years ago, when global destinations vied to attract Japanese tourists. “China’s 1.3 billion population is many times that of Japan’s 127 million, so the China outbound boom will be bigger and last longer,” he said.
Travelers in the 25-34 age bracket constitute 35% of the Chinese outbound traffic, and those aged 15-24 make up 27%.
Chinese are also the world’s biggest luxury consumers, and half of their spending are in overseas. The number of Chinese visitors to the US has grown 10% since 2009, making the US the fastest-growing region for Chinese tourism after Southeast Asia.
The Sino-Canadian bilateral visa extension agreement on March 9 extending visa validity to 10 years, and a similar Sino-US agreement effective since November 2014, will further boost Chinese tourism to both countries. Ctrip handled the most visa applications for the USA and Canada after SEA in 2014.
Australia, France and Italy are also popular destinations for Chinese travelers and were among the top ten destinations for Chinese visitors' shopping expenditure in Ctrip’s 2015 Spring Festival Travel Consumer Index.
Japan, Korea and SEA stood out as popular Asian destinations for Chinese tourists, and Thailand, Japan and Korea were the top three popular destinations during the Spring Festival peak season this year, according to Ctrip's data.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishisda announced in January the extension of multiple-entry visa validity for Chinese tourists to five years and the lifting of first-time visit location restrictions, which may have contributed to the doubling of Chinese visitor arrivals to Japan handled by Ctrip during this year’s Spring Festival.
Meanwhile, some 50 countries and regions also extend visa-free or visa-on-arrival policies for Chinese visitors, including popular destinations like Thailand, Korea’s Jeju Island, Indonesia and the Maldives.(Translation by David)