In 2018 a total of 149.7 million Chinese travelled abroad compared to 10 million who left their country in 2000. Growth is 14.7 percent in just one year, making China the world’s leading tourist destination. In addition, they spend the most. Up to 260 billion dollars in 2017, double that of North Americans and four times more than the British (Perfumes, alcohol and clothing lead shopping tourism in 2018).
After China, the tourists who spend the most are from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom or France. The Chinese tend to travel mainly through Asia, especially Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao. In recent years Thailand, Japan and South Korea have become favourite destinations for Chinese people travelling abroad. In Europe, Italy is the country where the Chinese travel the most, followed by Great Britain, France and Spain, with more than 700,000 tourists in 2018, four times more than five years earlier.
According to studies, shopping tourism is the main activity of the Chinese who prioritize shopping in their spending, sometimes over food or accommodation. It is therefore not surprising that fashion epicenters such as Milan, Paris or London are some of their favorite cities to travel.