Just four decades ago, few Chinese citizens traveled abroad. In the beginning, family visits were the only purpose for cross-border travel.
“Only people who had relatives living in Hong Kong could apply for tours,”Li Nianyang with GZL Travel Service told the Shanghai newspaper. It added, Nianyang organized some of the earliest tours to Hong Kong when it was still under British control.
According to Shanghai Daily, it was travel agencies in the southern province of Guangdong that broke the ice in the early 1980s.
Favorable visa policies, online booking services and mobile payment have enabled Chinese travelers to explore other cultures freely and easily.
Now, Chinese travelers have become the largest and fastest-growing group of spenders in the world, a new report has revealed.
Chinese travelers spent US$258 billion abroad in 2017 and made over 142 million international departures, according to statistics published by United Nations World Tourism Organization in April.
Chinese travelers don’t just spend a lot of money, but also spend their money in a lot of different ways. They are more interested in niche tourism markets, such as whisky tasting and aurora-chasing tours, short-term study trips, overseas voluntary camps and outdoor adventures, than many other traditional alternatives.