News / Economy

Chinese Overtake Germans as Biggest-Spending Tourists

FILE - A woman from China at a duty-free store that offers new Mandarin-speaking personal shopper service at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 14, 2012.
FILE - A woman from China at a duty-free store that offers new Mandarin-speaking personal shopper service at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 14, 2012.
Reuters
Chinese tourists have overtaken Germans as the world's biggest-spending travelers after a decade of robust growth in the number of Chinese holidaying abroad, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said on Thursday.
 
Chinese tourists, known for traveling in organized tours and snapping up luxury fashion abroad, spent $102 billion on foreign trips last year, outstripping deep-pocketed travelers from Germany and the United States.
 
Chinese tourists spent 41 percent more on foreign travel in 2012 than the year before, beating the close to $84 billion both German and U.S. travelers parted with last year.
 
Tourists from other fast-growing economies with swelling middle classes, like Russia and Brazil, also increased spending in 2012. In recession-hit Europe, however, French and Italian tourists reined in their holiday budgets.
 
"The impressive growth of tourism expenditure from China and Russia reflects the entry into the tourism market of a growing middle class from these countries," said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
 
The German Travel Association (DRV) said it was to be expected that the Chinese would eventually overtake Germans in terms of spending, given that the country had more inhabitants than North America, Russia and Europe put together.
 
"But that they have overtaken us already is astonishing," DRV president Juergen Buechy said.
 
The Chinese make more long-haul trips than Germans, who typically go to Mediterranean destinations, meaning that the average spend per holiday was greater, he added.
 
Catching up

China is the world's fastest growing tourist source market, thanks to higher disposable incomes in the world's number two economy and looser foreign travel restrictions. Chinese tourists made 83 million foreign trips in 2012, compared to 10 million in 2000.
 
Hoteliers, tour companies, restaurants and even taxi drivers will need to brush up on their knowledge of Chinese cuisine, culture and language if they are to tempt them away from favorite destinations like Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Maldives, European tourism officials have said.
 
Other countries in the top 10 including Japan and Australia posted growth in travel spending, though only Russia came close to China's huge growth, with a 32 percent increase in holiday budgets.
 
Russians are now the fifth highest-spending tourists, parting with $43 billion last year, according to the Madrid-based UNWTO, and catching up on the British, who spent $52 billion in 2012.
 
Italian spending dipped by one percent to $26 billion in 2012 and French tourists parted with $38 billion, a six percent drop year-on-year. The two eurozone peers were the only countries in the top 10 outbound markets to post declines.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.