Which International Destinations Are Most Popular with Chinese Tourists?

Which International Destinations Are Most Popular with Chinese Tourists?
Aug 10, 2016 Translated by eChinacities.com

Editor’s Note: This article summarizes a few recent reports on Chinese outbound tourism. Thailand is currently China’s most popular tourist destination. However, this could be shaken up in the next few years with the construction of the proposed high-speed railway from Kunming to numerous cities in Southeast Asia. Chinese tourists are also changing their traveling and spending habits as more education youth travel abroad.

Thailand is the most popular destination for Chinese tourists. Chinese tourists represent the largest tourist populations in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Russia, North Korea, the Maldives, and the United Kingdom. China’s National Tourism Administration recently released these statistics for the first half of 2016.

However, in 2016, tourism to Thailand has begun to slow with the popularization of other destinations in Southeast Asia. China’s current plans for a high-speed railway connecting the Mainland to Southeast Asia will mostly likely increase tourism to Thailand and to other Southeast Asian destinations.  

China Spends the Most

The China Tourism Research Institute and Ctrip Travel Group recently released a tourism report on Chinese outbound travel in the first half of 2016. The report said that Chinese tourists still take more trips than those from any other countries. They also spend the most abroad. The National Tourism Administration reported 59.03 million Chinese traveled abroad in the first half of this year, up 4.3% from the previous year.

Chinese tourists who spend a lot of cash abroad are generally from first-tier cities. Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen have the largest number of outbound tourists. However, those from second and third tier cities are getting in on the action as well. The fastest growing cities for outbound tourism in 2016 are Changsha, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Kunming, Fuzhou, Xi’an, Nanjing, and Hangzhou. Tourists from Suzhou actually spend the most abroad, an average of 6125 RMB, followed by tourists from Zhejiang and Wenzhou.

Trouble in Thailand?

Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries have also recently released tourism statistics for the past six months. The number of Mainland Chinese tourists to Thailand increased by 27% from last year. Chinese visitors to Malaysia increased by 35.2%. Chinese tourists tend to prefer visiting cities in Southeast Asia to visiting island resorts.

Financial Times reported on August 4 that Thailand’s tourism industry has slowed down. The industry’s growth rate in the second quarter of this year was only 8.2%.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand reported that 8 million Chinese tourists traveled to Thailand in 2015. This is six times the number that visited Thailand in 2010. Chinese tourists accounted for 29.5% of Thailand’s overall tourism in 2015.

On July 25, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Chinese Embassy in Thailand announced that they will work together to promote the further development of tourism to Thailand from August to late September. China plans to open its Shanghai-Kunming and Nanning-Kunming high-speed rail lines by the end of this year. In the future, Kunming will be the terminal of a high-speed railway that connects Mainland China to most of Southeast Asia.

Improving the Image of Chinese Tourists

Industry sources say that future tourism prospects in Southeast Asia are good. Lv Mama CEO Wang Xiaosong said that Southeast Asia will remain the main destination for Chinese traveling abroad. However, he said that homogeneity is currently a big issue for the Southeast Asia tourism scene.

Attitudes towards travel in China are changing. Outbound tourists are now more willing to spend money on food, drinks, and experiences. More than 80% of Chinese who traveled to Hong Kong as part of a tour group said that they took the trip for leisure, rather than to shop.

Young Chinese in their twenties and thirties now make up 60% of Chinese tourists in Southeast Asia. These travelers are generally college educated, and will be able to change the negative global image of Chinese tourists.

A report from Ctrip said that Chinese tourists are improving their reputation in the United States. The vast majority of Chinese tourists traveling in the United States were welcomed, and serious incidents have been rare. 90% of survey respondents from the United States said that Chinese tourists have gotten significantly better this last year. More than 90% said they do not agree that Chinese tourists are worse than tourists from any other country.

Source: The Paper

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Keywords: Chinese tourism Chinese tourists


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made in China have the stereotype is bad, but one they we want products made by China.

Jan 29, 2017 15:07 Report Abuse



They spend most because everything that's made in China for China sucks ass so they save money and buy as much crap as possible while overseas, can't blame them for that, I would do the same if virtually every domestic products in my country were substandard too. The same reason why China miserably failed in transitioning to a consumer economy, people don't want to buy the crap back home. Other countries don't spend as much overseas because they spend most of their money domestically on reliable quality products, Chinese don't have this luxury. Made in China still means crap, made in anywhere else is much face and superior quality. Chinese spend overseas because the products back home can't be trusted.

Aug 12, 2016 00:57 Report Abuse



What you said is true. Also, a big part of that spending is for gifts and friends, who as soon as they know they are traveling overseas, they bombard them with shopping requests for cosmetics etc. The thing is, it's not that just "Made in China" is considered crap, it's also that "made in S Korea", but bought in China, might be fake...hence the shopping frenzy overseas.

Sep 02, 2016 21:31 Report Abuse



got cash?: come on in!

Aug 11, 2016 13:13 Report Abuse



It's the sheer numbers that are the major problem. You spend 2hrs queuing at immigration in Bangkok, why? Because 10 planes from China have just landed. And this is everywhere, all the time. One can't help but call it the "locust syndrome"...

Aug 10, 2016 18:45 Report Abuse