A group of mainland tourists sample local pineapple cakes, Jan. 21. (File photo/Lee Hsin-tung)
China has become the nation whose tourists spend the most money abroad, reports our sister paper Want Daily, with more than 94 million people traveling overseas last year, spending in excess of US$110 billion in total.
Tourists from Germany and the United States were second and third.
Meanwhile, the holidays around Chinese New Year, which fell on Jan. 31 this year, are a peak travel season in China and the latest poll by the country's Tourism Research Institute showed that more than 40% of those surveyed were planning an overseas trip during the period.
The trend for Chinese nationals to venture abroad has been a boon for the global tourism industry, with approximately 40% of the total profits for brand-name retail shops in Italy coming from Chinese tourists. In the UK, the average spend for each Chinese visitor during the Christmas holidays last year was around US$2,300.
China's Tourism Bureau said that at least 100 million Chinese nationals will make an overseas trip in 2014, while people aged between 55 and 65 years old will make up the largest demographic of tourists.