The United States is the favorite shopping destination for both Chinese tourists and Chinese online shoppers according to a new study by Visa and Economic Information Daily.
Last year, 98.19 million Chinese made overseas trips last year, of which 96 percent were private business, which was an 18 percent increase over the previous year. Spending by Chinese outbound travelers increased 24 percent over the previous year with 128.6 billion yuan ($20.9 billion) spent in overseas markets. These travelers spent $1,368 per capita on average in 2013, reports China Daily.
According to People Daily, three factors are particularly significant in the rising numbers of Chinese outbound tourists: “Services are becoming more digital, ways of travel are becoming more diverse, and it is becoming much easier for Chinese tourists to travel abroad.”
Demographically, younger Chinese and high-earners are driving the outbound tourism boom. The post-1980’s generation accounts for 56.2 percent of outbound travel, whereas the post-70’s generation accounts for 26.4 percent, and the post-90’s account for 11.3 percent. These young Chinese often take short trips with vacations usually lasting less than 10 days.
Of these age groups, high-income Chinese travel the most. The average monthly income of Chinese outbound tourists is 11,512 yuan, which is three times the monthly annual income in China’s major cities (3,798 yuan). The average monthly family income of Chinese Outbound tourists is 20,767 yuan.
“Travelers from second- and third-tier cities in China and those who went abroad for the first time have made a major contribution to overseas consumption,” said Fan Zhiyong, co-author of the report and associate professor at the School of Economics, Renmin University of China.
While Chinese travelers are spending, purchases of luxury goods were down this year as many shoppers opted to buy their luxury goods online rather than overseas. Chinese online shoppers spent 3.1 trillion yuan in 2013. Their favorite online shopping destinations were American websites, while South Korean e-tailers saw a dip in sales.
“Chinese consumers have become more rational when shopping overseas. Many choose to buy healthcare products, rather than luxury goods, and make payments with credit cards,” said Hou Xueming, director of retail banking and wealth management at Hang Seng Bank China.
image credit: sarinee achavanuntakul