Despite the economic slowdown that is the subject of much discussion in China, domestic tourists did not reduce their foreign travel in 2018, quite the contrary. Thus, according to data from the Chinese Academy of Tourism (CTA) published on January 8, last year, Chinese tourists made 140 million trips abroad, up 13.5% from 129 million the previous year.
In addition, according to CTA estimates, Chinese travelers spent more than $120 billion on their trips to 157 countries and regions, compared to $100 billion in 2017.
According to Dai Bin, CTA Director, China has become a major player in the global tourism industry, both in terms of the number of trips and the amount of money spent. "This is a remarkable change," he said.
In terms of destinations, Chinese tourists are increasingly attracted to less frequented areas such as Antarctica, which, according to CTA data, could attract up to 10,000 Chinese visitor trips in 2019. This means that one in five tourists in Antarctica will be from China. But traditionally, popular destinations such as Thailand, Japan and South Korea should also remain among the favorite choices of Chinese holidaymakers.
At the same time, the number of trips and tourism receipts within China also increased steadily in 2018. According to CTA data, some 5.54 billion domestic trips were made, up 10.76% year-on-year. This represents about four trips per person in the country, a level comparable to that of developed countries. During the year, Chinese tourists spent a total of 5,990 billion yuan ($874.18 billion) on their domestic travel, up 10.9% from last year.
Finally, according to Mr. Dai, China's tourism consumption has become a major source of GDP growth, accounting for 10% of the country's total economy.