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Cost, safety prompt more Chinese tourists to stay closer to home

09/30/2017| 3:17:27 PM|

For Chinese travelers - who spent USD 261 billion overseas last year - the hottest destinations aren’t Paris, New York or Tokyo but the beaches of Sanya or the peaks of far-western Yunnan.

As China’s army of tourists prepares for next week’s ‘Golden Week’ vacation, the hottest destinations aren’t Paris, New York or Tokyo. Instead, a cooling economy means holidaymakers are staying closer to home - on the beaches of Sanya or the peaks of far-western Yunnan.

Chinese travelers - who spent USD 261 billion overseas last year - are increasingly opting for ‘staycations’, a boon for domestic tourism operators, but a challenge for retailers and hotel chains tapping into Chinese demand abroad.

The country’s tourists made 2.54 billion trips in China in the first half of this year, up 13.5 percent from 2016, far outstripping an outbound market that has slowed as consumers tighten their belts amid recent economic wobbles.

“This Golden Week, we prefer to travel domestically,” said Tian Haiqin, a 50-year-old Beijing housewife who said cost, jet lag and language barriers were the main reasons for staying at home. “It’s quite expensive to travel abroad, not only to far Western countries, but also around Asia.”

She’s not alone. Around 710 million Chinese will make trips in the country for the National Day holiday, according to estimates from travel agent Ctrip.com International. Some 6 million will travel abroad.

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TAGS: Chinese tourists | golden week
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