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China expected to be world's largest outbound tourism market
Annual Report of China Outbound Tourism Development 2012 shows that China may become world's largest outbound tourism market.
China's outbound market is now 1.2 times bigger than the U.S.'s and 3.5 times bigger than Japan's. In the near future, China may become world's largest outbound tourism market.

"In the past year, the number of Chinese citizens traveling abroad still remains a high growth trend, with both the market size of 70 million people and the tourism services trade deficit of over 20 billion U.S. dollars hitting a new record. China has contributed 30 percent to the growth of international tourism market and become a very steady growth pole of world tourism economy," Dai Bin, president of China Tourism Research Institute, said at the news conference of the "Annual Report of China Outbound Tourism Development 2012" held on April 11, 2012.

Thanks to its nearly 1.4 billion population and steady growth in economy, Chinese outbound tourism will continue to maintain a sustained growth trend, said Dai. According to investigation of the outbound tourists in 2011, over 65 percent are young and middle-aged tourists between 25 years old and 44 years old and the number of outbound tourists with a bachelor degree or a junior college degree is the most, accounting for nearly 70 percent.

Taking shape
Last year, the number of China's outbound visitors grew by 22 percent year-on-year. Among them, the number of non-official tours abroad accounts for 91 percent. At present, China has established organized tour business with 113 countries and regions.

In the first quarter this year, China's outbound tourism continues to maintain a momentum of vigorous development. The statistics show that the total number of Chinese citizens traveling abroad between January and February reached nearly 13 million, a growth of 20 percent year-on-year. The number of non-official outbound visitors is over 12 million, a growth of 21 percent year-on-year, accounting for 93 percent of total outbound visitors.

Undergoing structural changes
The number of tourists on holidays began to increase, accounting for 37 percent, or a growth of 4 percentage points year-on-year. Due to convenient visa service and high cost performance, island tourism has become the main force driving the growth of holiday tourism market. With the flourish of Chinese economy and eastward shift of international tanker industry, the passenger liners have become a new tourism tool accepted by more Chinese tourists.

Shopping is still the main pattern of consumption
According to the survey report, about one third of Chinese outbound tourists believe that shopping is the item on which they spend money most. According to data from the World Luxury Association, more than 75 percent of Chinese outbound tourists spend money repeatedly more than three times during their journeys.

According to survey date by the Global Blue, 68 percent of Chinese tourists spend between 21 percent and 50 percent of their tourism budgets on shopping, and 25 percent of them even spend between 51 percent and 80 percent of their tourism budgets on shopping.

Zhang Wei, marketing manager of the North China region of the Global Blue, said, "In 2011, Chinese outbound tourists' total expenditures on shopping had increased by 58 percent from 2011, their per capita expenditure on shopping had reached 813 euros, and the average shopping budget of the Chinese outbound tourists to Europe was as high as 10,000 euros. According to our statistics, Chinese tourists have turned into the largest shopping group in the world, followed by Japan and Russia. Chinese tourists' favorite shopping country is France, Singapore ranks second and Germany ranks third."

Related News in Chinese:
2012年一季度中国出境游人次约1850万 将成为世界第一大出境国
  Source: COTRI

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