Chinese bit by travel bug

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BANGKOK, 15 March 2018: Ask what tops the shopping list in China for 2018 and the answer is likely to be travel, crowding out household appliances, healthcare or electronics.

The latest survey of 100,000 Chinese households conducted by CCTV, the National Bureau of Statistics, China Post Group, and the National School of Development at Peking University showed travel ranks the highest on the minds of Chinese consumers.

A overwhelming 42.1% pegged travel as the top purchase for 2018, ahead of purchasing consumer goods and healthcare.

The annual China Economic Life Survey also collected data from a variety of Chinese online travel agencies (OTAs), such as Ctrip and Alibaba’s Fliggy, to further narrow down on travel trends.

According to the survey, 2017 saw Chinese tourists embark on 129 million trips outside of China, close to the China National Tourism Administration’s (CNTA) figure of 130.5 million overseas trips. But did they spend when on holiday or did they travel on a strict budget?

The survey pegged tourist spending at 748 billion yuan (USD118.2 billion) for international destinations. The figures provided by the China Economic Life Survey puts average spending among outbound tourists at approximately USD917 per trip, far ahead of the average USD148 spent per domestic trip.

Thailand attracted around 9 million Chinese visitors last year.

However, accuracy of tourism-related spending is still questionable and often includes investment payments in overseas tourism or hotel projects, bought by Chinese nationals.

With Chinese outbound travel still majors on short-haul destinations such as Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, South Korea, and Japan.

Chinese independent travel is also growing according to the survey claiming the independent travel and family travel grew by 200% in 2017.

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