Chinese Tourists Outnumber All Others in 2012, and this is just the beginning

Chinese tourists spent 102 billion U.S. dollars abroad in 2012.
German tourists spent 84 billion U.S. dollars abroad in 2012.
American tourists spent 84 billion U.S. dollars abroad in 2012.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization confirmed on Thursday that 2012 saw China become the top tourist source market in the world.

In 2012 Chinese expenditure on travel abroad climbed to 102 billion U.S. dollars, culminating a period in which it has been the most rapidly growing source market for tourism in the world.

Since the turn of the century, there has been over an eightfold increase in the number of overseas trips made by Chinese travelers from 10 million who travelled to other countries in 2000, up to 83 million who went abroad in 2012.

This huge increase, which has been made possible by increased disposable income for Chinese people, which has created greater opportunities to visit other parts of the world, has also seen Chinese people spending more money on their foreign trips with the 102 billion dollars they spent in 2012, up an impressive 40 percent from the previous year when Chinese people spend 73 billion US dollars on foreign tourism.

This data echoes the expectations of Taleb Rifai, the General Secretary of the UNWTO when he spoke to Xinhua at in their Madrid headquarters the start of the year.

“The Chinese economy is opening up, it is growing and the rise of the middle class in China is a very important phenomenon, it is probably one of the main reasons behind this absolutely impressive growth in the outbound figures and data,” he said in an interview which also saw him praise what China has to offer as a tourist destination for people from other parts of the world.

“The outbound market of China being a source of tourism for the world has grown tremendously: 42 percent was the growth in 2012. Almost 80 million Chinese traveled out of China: That is a tremendous achievement.”

“But, even as an inbound destination, we have almost 60 million people visiting China. China is the third visited destination in the world today and all of this makes China very special to us,” he added.

In 2005, China had ranked in seventh placed in terms of international tourism expenditure, behind Italy, Japan, France, Britain, Germany and the United States. It had moved into the third place by the end of 2011 and overtook Germany and the U.S. last year.

However, China is not the only country to increase its importance as a source market; Russia and Brazil have also seen their significance increase with Russia, seeing a 32-percent rise in international tourist spending in 2012, while Brazil moved up to 12th place with expenditure of 22 billion U.S. dollars in a movement Rifai said would”surely continue to change the map of world tourism.”

联合国世界旅游组织发表报告称中国游客2012年在海外共消费1,020亿美元,比2011年730亿美元大幅增长41%,使中国超越德国成为最大旅游消费来源国。

德国和美国分别排在二、三位,这两个国家旅客的海外消费都在840亿美元左右,增幅同样是6%。

中国在2005年排名第7,其后逐渐取代意大利、日本、法国、美国和去年的德国。其他新兴市场旅游消费在过去10年的增长也十分瞩目。俄罗斯联邦2012年海外旅游消费增长32%至430亿美元,从去年第7位上升至第5位。巴西从2005年的29位升至2012年的12位,其国民海外旅游消费总额达220亿美元。

英国、加拿大、澳洲和日本等传统旅游消费大国2012年都录得增长,但法国和意大利的国民海外旅游消费分别减少6%和1%。