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Chinese Tourists Spend $229 Billion

Latest statistics released by market research firm GfK confirm that the Chinese market produced 109 million outbound tourists in 2015 – with retail spend of US$229 billion. This is a key milestone in China’s outbound tourism history according to market research firm GfK.

These statistics consolidate China’s position as one of the top global sources of tourists, in terms of both number of trips and money spent during international travel. At the same time, there have been profound changes in the behavior of the typical Chinese traveler, with Chinese millennials firmly established as the core drivers of China’s outbound tourism spending.

Europe remains the most popular destination for Chinese traveling outside of Asia, showing an increase of 97 percent in the number of air and overnight visits in the last four years. This is followed by North America (up 151 percent) and the Middle East (up 177 percent). Africa remains the destination least visited by Chinese tourists – but with signs that this could be changing, as visits have risen by 306 percent rise since 2011.

According to GfK data, half (50 percent) of China’s outbound travelers are aged 15-29 years old – the “millennials” group – while over a third (37 percent) are aged 30-44 and 10 percent are 45-59.

The sheer size of the millennial group within China’s travelers makes this a commercially attractive target audience for those destinations who are looking to draw in Chinese tourists. This attraction is increased by the fact that two thirds (66 percent) of Chinese millennials belong to the high income bracket. Not only that, but their financial standing is expected to increase as their careers advance, since seven out of ten millennials hold ‘white collar’ executive or professional jobs.

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. The firm delivers vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries.