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China Outbound Tourism in 2016

The growth of China Outbound Tourism has slowed. The number of outbound tourists reached 122 million in 2016, an increase of 4.3% over 2015. China has become the top source of tourist for many countries such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Russia, Maldives, and the United Kingdom.

Where did Chinese tourists go?

The popular destinations among Chinese outbound tourists were mainly nearby Asian countries. There are three reasons for this:  it is a relatively short journey and doesn’t cost too much;  short-distance trips needs less time and do not require a long holiday;  the recent terrorist attacks in Europe made many tourists change to safer Asian countries.

 The top 10 outbound tourism countries were: Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, Malaysia, Maldives, Vietnam and Philippines. In 2016, there were about 8.77 million Chinese mainland tourists to Thailand which is up to 45% in the same period in 2015. The tourists to South Korea can be up to 8.04 million. In addition, there were about 6.0 million outbound tourists to Japan, an increase of 53%.

 The top ten islands among Chinese outbound tourists were as follows: Phuket, Bali, Jeju, Okinawa, Boracay, Maldives, Sabah, Nha Trang, Saipan, and Sri Lanka.

 The top nine welcomed museums among Chinese outbound tourists were: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musée du Louvre, Vatican Museums, British Museum, Uffizi Gallery, Dubai Museum, Teddy Bear Museum, Play K-pop Museum, and National Air and Space Museum.

What did Chinese tourists do?

Compared with the past tourists who slept in the car, went shopping and took photos, Chinese tourists today would rather spend more time and money on entertainment. They were prone to pursue good quality tours staying in good accommodations, eating well, seeking fun, and spending more time in exploring attraction sites; they were more willing to experience the daily life of the locals and learn more about local customs and cultures.

Who was the main force in China outbound tourism?

In 2016, females were the majority of outbound tourists, accounting for about 56%. The other 44% were male. Among all tourists, 70’s and 80’s played an important role in outbound tourism, and more and more 90’s tended to join in the outbound tourism group.

The tourists were still keen on package tour, but independent tour increased a lot

Over 40% of Chinese outbound tourists still travel in groups organized by travel agencies. This is mainly because many tourists are traveling abroad for the first time and lack of experience; language barrier is also a contributing factor. Choosing tours offered by agencies can save trouble and time as they help you apply for visas, make travel plans and book tickets and accommodation, etc.

Meanwhile, more and more tourists which was up to 70 million like independent travel because they can be more flexible and they can travel freely without any restrictions. Tourists can make their own travel itinerary and go where they want to go.

A predicted increase of 4% in 2017

There will be about 127 million outbound trips in 2017, reaching an increase of 4%.

Data source: Ministry of Culture and Tourism of People's Republic of China

 See China Outbound Tourism by Year: 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007
- Last updated on May. 29, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Outbound Tourism in 2016
Asked by SHARONTANG | Nov. 08, 2018 04:41Reply
the outbound Chinese mainland tourists to the top 25 countries
Does anyone knows the outbound Chinese mainland tourists to the top 25 countries in 2016 (in the whole year)?
Answers (2)
Answered by Lisa from MALAYSIA | Nov. 08, 2018 18:06

Only the top 15 countries can be founded and they are: Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, the USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, and Canada.
Answered by SHARONTANG | Nov. 10, 2018 03:28

Hi, thanks for replying. I want the specific number of tourists to each 25 countries in 2016. Does anyone know that?
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