Spending by Chinese tourists expected to increase this year

Published on : Monday, August 14, 2017

images (1)Spending by overseas Chinese tourists is expected to increase again in 2017, in line with a trend of double-digit growth in tourism expenditure every year since 2004. However, spending of Chinese tourists will no longer revolve around the traditional retail shopping. Instead, they would spend their money on dining, culture and entertainment experiences.

 

Surveying some 3,000 Chinese residents who had traveled overseas in the past 12 months, the Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) May 2017 report found that overseas visitors were spending on average around 8 percent more per day than in the previous 12-month period. The average amount spent per day increased from USD414 (about MOP3, 300) to USD446 in 2017.

 

While the spending of overseas Chinese tourists is expected to increase in line with the past 13 years, the proportion of survey respondents indicating a preference for retail shopping sharply declined this year. Half of the survey respondents said that they intend to spend more on dining and entertainment, with an additional interest in eco-tours and natural environment.

 

According to the China National Tourism Administration, in 2016, around 30 percent of Chinese outbound visitors opted for island destinations or eco tours. Most of these destinations continue to be located in the Asia-Pacific region. The UNWTO, a subsidiary agency of the United Nations, calculates that outbound Chinese tourists spent on aggregate 12 percent more in 2016 than in the previous year, rising to USD261 billion (MOP2.1 trillion). This has consolidated China’s position as world leader when it comes to overseas spending, followed by the U.S., Germany, the U.K. and France. At the same time, the number of Chinese outbound travelers increased by 6 percent in 2016 to a total of 135 million.

 

It is not clear whether the tourism authorities regard residents of the greater China area – namely Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese travelers, nor if they consider these territories to constitute “overseas.”

 

Retail sales in Macau and Hong Kong have reported poor performance in the last few years, though recent data suggests a recovery may be underway, at least in Macau. In the first quarter of 2017, retail sales were up a significant 12 percent year-on-year to MOP16.59 billion, on the back of the gaming recovery and an increase in the number of visitors to the territory.

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