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Chinese travellers are top spenders: UN tourism body

Published on Apr 5, 2013 6:08 AM
 
Chinese shoppers stand with shopping bags on a sidewalk along 5th Avenue in New York City on April 4, 2013. Chinese travellers are the world's biggest tourism spenders, splashing out a record US$102 billion (S$134 billion) on trips abroad in 2012, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation said on Thursday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Chinese travellers are the world's biggest tourism spenders, splashing out a record US$102 billion (S$134 billion) on trips abroad in 2012, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) said on Thursday.

The number of Chinese travellers to foreign countries jumped from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012, the Madrid-based body said in a statement, attributing the spike to China's rising disposable incomes and an easing of travel restrictions.

"Expenditure by Chinese tourists abroad has also increased almost eightfold since 2000. Boosted by an appreciating Chinese currency, Chinese travellers spent a record US$102 billion in international tourism in 2012, a 40 per cent jump from 2011 when it amounted to US$73 billion," the UNWTO said.

China has now become "the largest spender in international tourism", it added, noting that since 2005 the country had overtaken Germany, the United States (US), Italy, Japan, France and the United Kingdom in travel expenditure.

 
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