By Wang Hailin –Outbound visits by Chinese residents hit a record high of over 130 million in 2017, making China the world’s biggest source of outbound travelers, said an industry report released on Thursday.
China’s outbound travelers spent $115.29 billion last year, the report released by China Tourism Academy (CTA) and the online travel service Ctrip.
The report found that China’s outbound tourists now have a higher demand on the quality of tourism products, with more of them preferring premium and customized trips, looking for more foreign experience.
Living conditions and services, rather than shopping and sightseeing, were given more weight by Chinese tourists. The outbound travel has now also grown into a gauge measuring the happiness of Chinese families and the young generations.
Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the US, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Maldives were considered the top-10 favorite destinations of Chinese tourists.
A series of measures have been introduced by global tourism destinations to lure Chinese visitors. Indonesia, for example, is planning to develop 10 new islands similar to Bali, while countries in Southeast Asia will invest over $100 billion in airports, railways, hotels, and theme park construction, in a bid to accommodate more Chinese travelers.
Japan has optimized its Chinese language services in major tourist sites and shopping malls by employing Chinese-speaking tour guides and shop assistants. The country has also expanded the access of mobile payment used by Chinese visitors.
In 2017, tens of thousands of merchants across over 30 countries and regions accepted China’s Alipay and WeChat Pay as payment options.
Japan embraces huge influx of Chinese tourists during the Spring Festival vacation on February 13, 2018. (Photo: People’s Daily Online)
A department store in Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia hangs banner to greet the Chinese New Year. (Photo by Xi Laiwang from People’s Daily)