Leisure travel bookings for July and August in Europe are up more than 4% from the same period of last year after an even stronger June, which coincided with a Chinese holiday, according to data tracked by consultancy ForwardKeys.
"This year will certainly be the year with the highest number of arrivals from China ever," Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director of China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, a consultancy based in Germany.
While Chinese bookings for Europe are up, those for the United States are down more than 9% for the year to July 22 compared with the same period of 2017, ForwardKeys data showed.
With 143 million international tourist trips last year, they spent on average USD 1,800, though Arlt said the average was probably distorted by lavish spending by a wealthy minority.
Two thirds of Chinese expect to increase their travel budget in the next 12 months, according to an Ipsos survey of more than 3,000 Chinese people in May for Hotels.com.
While in the past Chinese tourists spent lavishly on European luxury goods, they are increasingly focusing on special experiences such as staying in boutique hotels, dining in fancy restaurants and seeking out local products, the survey showed.
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