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China’s Travellers are Big Spenders
China’s Travellers are Big Spenders

Chinese travellers are the world’s biggest spenders on shopping during outbound trips, according to a recent study conducted by ACNielsen and Tax Free World Association (TFWA). Their average spends on each trip outside China is US$987.

1,500 Chinese citizens were surveyed in the three key cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, selected for having travelled for business and leisure to Hong Kong, Macau, Asia or European countries in the past six months. According to Thom Rankin, TFWA’s VP for Conference & Research, outbound travel from China reached 29 million in 2004, representing a more than 43% increase on 2003.

Japanese travellers beat Chinese to the top spot in terms of the total amount spent per trip, but the Chinese spend more on shopping, which averages 30% of their entire travel budget. According to Glen Murphy, MD of ACNielsen China, ‘With increased disposable incomes, the Chinese are turning to overseas travel, and exploring new and interesting places. Their enthusiasm for travel is a welcome sign, not only for holiday operators, but for related industries such as luxury brand owners and duty free shops’.

Overseas travel is, however, the province of a small minority in China: even in these three major cities, only one in 10 adults have travelled overseas. The figures are further skewed by the proximity of Guangzhou to Hong Kong and Macau, the destinations for the majority of its overseas tourists. Leisure travellers are most likely to be females and younger people - over two thirds (69%) are women and one third (36%) are aged between 20 and 29.

Not surprisingly, Hong Kong (76%) is the most popular destination for Chinese tourists, followed by other Asian countries (61%) and Macau (48%) according to statistics from 2000 to 2004. Sightseeing is the major reason for travel for more than two thirds of travellers (70%).

Fashion (purchased by 53%), Cosmetics (50%) and Confectionery (50%) ranked among the top three items for Chinese travellers, in contrast to European travellers who favour Wine and Spirits, Fragrance and Tobacco.

  Source: AC Nielsen

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