A RAPIDLY rising number of Chinese people are travelling abroad, despite a sharp slowdown in the country’s economic growth.
Chinese travellers made 117m trips in 2014, up 20 per cent on 2013, according to the China Confidential outbound tourism report released today.
China’s outbound tourism spending is likely to grow to an unprecedented 3.3 trillion yuan (£350bn) this year from 3.1 trillion yuan in 2014.
Despite the rise in total spending by Chinese tourists, average spending dropped by 8.2 per cent year-on-year in 2014.
The report also revealed that Europe retains a strong allure for the longer-haul traveller while the US remains much less attractive. Traditional regional destinations such as Hong Kong and Macau are also losing appeal to South Korea and Japan.
Meanwhile, China’s year-on-year economic growth rate slowed to seven per cent in the first three months of 2014, according to official figures. It marks the country’s weakest economic growth since 2009.
“With less than six per cent of China’s population currently holding a passport, there is enormous potential for growth in the number of Chinese outbound tourists and overall tourist spending,” said Matthew Plowright, principal of China Confidential.
“A range of industries stand to benefit from the maturing face of Chinese tourism. Chinese tourists venturing further afield and booking more goods and services themselves is good news for many.”