Chinese tourists made 149 million overseas trips in 2018, spending a total of US$130 billion, according to a report released by the China Tourism Academy.
Both registered significant annual increases — 14.7% for trips and 13% for money spent, CGTN.com reported.
Asia became the most popular destination for Chinese in 2018, accounting for with 89.03% of trips, followed by Europe, with 3.83%, the report said.
The three leading destinations were Hong Kong, Macao and Thailand with Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, the U.S., Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia rounding out the top ten.
According to the report, overseas trips are becoming more convenient more than ever, facilitated by easier visa processing.
In addition, more and more airlines, flights as well as railways have continuously optimized cross-border transportation. Chinese logos, mobile payments and services especially for Chinese people all contribute to a booming market, the report said.
The report also found that with the ever-growing demands of tourism quality, Chinese people are more inclined to do package tours.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the number of global travelers will exceed 1.8 billion by 2030. China is considered the world’s fastest growing tourism market and will play a key role in the sector’s development.
The domestic tourism market is also booming. In the first half of the year, China’s domestic tourism revenue came in at 2.78 trillion yuan (about US$402 billion), up 13.5% year on year, according to the report.
The academy predicted domestic tourism revenue will expand by 10% to reach 5.6 trillion yuan in 2019.
When asked if the trade dispute might discourage the flow of Chinese citizens to foreign destinations, James Riley, group CEO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, said: “The upward trend in terms of Chinese travel is going to be relentless and continuing,” he told CNBC.
“More and more, we’re seeing Chinese travelers wanting to have new experiences in new countries that they’ve not visited before,” he said.