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China Outbound Tourism in 2012

In 2012, China’s outbound tourism market continued to grow and the country became the world’s largest outbound tourism market, surpassing Germany and America.

In 2012, 83,182,700 Chinese nationals traveled abroad, up 18.41 percent 2011 and the total outbound tourism market reached 102 billion USD. The trade deficit in the tourism sector widened, reaching 51.9 billion USD. The increasing outbound consumption contributed to the destinations’ tourism development, economic growth, and job creation. At the same time, foreign visa availability greatly improved, and the Chinese language gained greater exposure.

58.9% of the outbound tourists went abroad for the first time, down 4.66 percent on 2011, while the percent of multiple-exit travelers increased. The rapid growth of new destinations leveled off. In 2012, new outbound tourism destinations increased by three, reaching 114. The increasing multiple-exit tourists and steady growing of travel destinations drew more attention to deep discovery and exploration in the destinations.

The number of travelers spending over 5000 CNY reduced dramatically, indicating that outbound tourism became more popular among a wider population, and people became more discerning in their travel and shopping choices.

Travel needs became more diverse. Travel purposes included sightseeing, business trips, and holiday tours. Travelers were not only joining large tour groups, but also organizing small family groups and private tours.

 Outbound Tourism Statistics by Travel Agencies
In 2012, travel agencies helped 28,305,700 people travel abroad, up 39.99% on the previous year. Their total income from outbound tourism was 93.606 billion CNY, up 40.11 percent on 2011, contributing 30.13% of the total tourism income of travel agencies. The outbound tourism profits of travel agencies were 4.467 billion CNY, up 24.25% on 2011, accounting for 30.13% of the total tourism profit by travel agencies.

 Predication for 2013
In 2013, China’s outbound tourism will still grow quickly. It is predicted that outbound tourists will increase to 94,300,000 in 2013, up 15% on 2012; the outbound consumption will reach 117.6 billion USD; as the inbound tourism growth slows down, the trade deficit will be larger, reaching 68.3 billion USD. 

 Top 25 Outbound Destinations of Chinese People in 2012:

Destinations Reception of Chinese Mainland Tourists
 (First Destination)(Unit in 10,000 persons)
Growth (%)
Hong Kong 3495.56 23.4
Macau 2150.29 8.8
South Korea 299.51 26.5
Taiwan 263.02 42.6
Thailand 224.48 47.4
Japan 196.22 20.5
Cambodia 184.54 51.8
United States 172.20 26.6
Malaysia 137.22 -21.0
Vietnam  133.99 17.4
Singapore 116.67 16.2
Russia 86.91 7.4
Australia 72.93 11.8
Indonesia 71.36 23.3
Myanmar 54.57 71.2
Italy 43.33 13.7
Canada 41.79 13.0
United Kingdom 40.60 7.9
 Germany 37.67 12.8
France 36.97 15.1
Guinea-Bissau 36.20 -4.2
Mongolia 32.50 -0.2
Philippines 27.22 0.4
North Korea 23.74 22.5
United Arab Emirates 23.60 16.0


Data Source: China National Tourism Administration

 See China Outbound Tourism by Year: 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007