With over quarter of a trillion dollars spent abroad, Chinese tourists became the largest contributors to the global outbound tourism market and the main source of tourism cash all over the world.

As the robust growth of international tourism continues, 2017 has seen the highest increase in total worldwide travel expenditure over the past eight years  – about 1.34 trillion US dollars. According to the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations, China has maintained its leading position in the global tourism market since 2012, with outbound tourists spending almost 258 billion US dollars last year, about 20 percent of total tourism spending in the world.

The main factors responsible to meteoric rise of Chinese tourism in recent years are:

  • The emergence of a new rich Chinese middle class;
  • The relaxation of travel restrictions by the Chinese authorities;
  • A simplified destination visa policy;
  • An increasing number of direct flight connections from China.

Although Chinese tourists are still famous for spending thousands of luxury luxury foreign brands, new trends in buying behavior are on the rise, especially among Chinese travelers. In 2017 Chinese travelers turned more to niche sectors such as whiskey tasting, aurora hunting, outdoor activities and other high-quality and less mass-oriented products and experiences.

Here is the comparison to other countries’ tourism spending compiled by Statista:

Chinese tourists outspent everyone else in 2017

Chinese tourists spent in 2017


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