A research study published in 2012 by the Shanghai-based company Hurun Report indicates that Chinese millionaires travelling the globe are increasingly attracted to Europe. They like to purchase luxury goods while travelling, and France comes before the United States and Singapore in this regard.
Some 2.8 million Chinese are now millionaires in dollars, with a personal fortune exceeding 6 million Yuan (€714,000), according to a survey released not so long ago. France is cited as the favourite tourist destination for wealthy Chinese, just ahead of the United States. Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Italy complement the leading group which is mostly European.
Competition to Attract Chinese Tourists
Less than half of these Chinese tourists spend over 5000 dollars (€3800 ) on luxury items per trip. Chinese tourists now buy a quarter of duty-free products in the world, according to Global Blue, the leading provider of tax refund. Four out of five Chinese millionaires expect to send their children abroad and plan to purchase a second home. Currently they plan to purchase properties in the United States (especially the West Coast), Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney (the names are listed in order of preference).
In Europe, there is stiff competition to capture the Chinese tourist market. Last October, France and Germany opened a common visa centre in Beijing in order to facilitate and accelerate entry authorization procedures in the Schengen area. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), China was first in terms of tourist spending abroad in 2012, with a total of 102 billion dollars (€75.5 billion).
The report by WTO also mentioned that the rise in tourists spending was a result of rising Chinese incomes and certain relaxations in terms of exiting the country. According to the UNWTO, the number of Chinese travelling abroad increased from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012. At the same time the international tourism expenditure of these travellers has almost been multiplied by eight.
A Flood of Chinese Tourists
Never in history has an invasion been so desired, called, and courted. Red carpets are being rolled out in the world, from the Grand Canyon to the Trocadero esplanade. The flood of Chinese tourists is peaceful and is valued at 102 billion dollars. The UNWTO announced that in 2012, China became the number one market in the world for travel spending ahead of the United States and Germany. The acceleration of the Empire is, once again, staggering. Over 83 million Chinese have moved abroad in 2012, against 10 million twelve years earlier. They should be 100 million by 2020. Every country in the world wants to capture this new market as quickly as possible.
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