Chinese to spend twice as much on international travel in ten years’ time: study

Mainland Chinese, already the world’s biggest spenders on overseas travel, are expected to nearly double the amount they spend on the activity over the next decade, according to a new study.

Outbound tourists from the mainland whose household income exceeds US$20,000 a year spent a total of US$137.0 billion in 2015, more than any other country in the world, and this would rise by 86 per cent to US$255.4 billion in 2025, according to the study by credit card company Visa.

Hong Kong travellers in the same income category – who spent US$26.7 billion abroad last year – were predicted to spend US$47.4 billion in a decade’s time.

The study found that families making US$20,000 or more per year accounted for 90 per cent of spending of international travel.

Worldwide, 280 million households would plan at least one international trip per year by 2025, up nearly 35 per cent from last year, said the credit card company.

The research, conducted jointly with Oxford Economics, estimated spending on international travel would reach an average of US$5,300 per household per year, from about US$4,500 last year. This figure included typical spending during the trip, such as on food and hotels, but did not include expenses prior to arrival – such as buying an airline ticket.

“Travelling internationally will become more common and attainable in the future thanks to changing demographics, combined with technology advances that make travelling abroad easier and less expensive,” said Wayne Best, Visa’s chief economist.

“What will emerge is an expanding ‘travelling class’ that will spend a growing portion of their household income on cross-border travel. Tomorrow’s travelling class will likely be older and hail from emerging markets – looking very different from today’s typical international traveller.”

By 2025, travellers aged over 65 will more than double the amount of international trips they make to 180 million, accounting for one-in-eight international trips globally.

They will also be able to afford longer trips that provide greater comfort at higher prices.

Medical tourism is expected to increase by up to 25 per cent per year over the next 10 years.

The combined forces of globalisation and technology are expanding access to travel, said the study. Transportation infrastructure will be improved, and more than 340 new airports will be built.

At the same time, awareness of travel options is spreading with the rapid uptake in internet access and the number of mobile devices around the world.


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