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Tourists from China now spend more than any other nation

Staff writer |
China welcomes in the Year of the Monkey, many Chinese are expected to use the extended holiday to travel abroad.

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Spending by Chinese outbound tourists rose 17% to $104.5 billion.
Tourism contributed 10 percent to global GDP and accounted for $1.5 trillion in global exports in 2014 – and China's share of this important industry has grown significantly over the past 10 years, writes Richard Li, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, China, HSBC.

So it's little wonder that countries around the world are courting visitors from the world's second largest economy.

Collectively, tourists from China now spend more than any other nation, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Preliminary figures from the China National Tourism Administration indicate spending by Chinese outbound tourists rose 17 percent to $104.5 billion in 2015.

The number of visits rose too, with Chinese travelers making 120 million trips abroad in 2015, up 12 percent on the year before.

South Korea, Japan and Taiwan have particularly benefited from an increase in travelers from China. Countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, notably Thailand, have also seen a rise in Chinese tourists.

More favorable exchange rates and flexible visa requirements may help lift tourist numbers to countries outside Asia, too. China overtook Germany as the biggest source of tourism to Russia in 2014, according to Russia's Federal Agency for Tourism, for example.

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