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Where Your Summer Tourists Will Come From

Published: April 6, 2013 | 5:39 pm
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(CNA)-Own a hotel or just work at one? Better start learning how to say “xie xie.”

One thing Americans will see more of this summer travel season — whether in the lobby of their Grand Canyon hotel or strolling around Disney parks — it is the Chinese, says Forbes (by Kenneth Rapoza).

China’s expenditure on travel abroad reached $102 billion in 2012, making it the top tourism source market in the world in terms of spending, the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization said Thursday.

Over the past decade China has been, and still is, the fastest-growing tourism source market in the world, the UNWTO said. Thanks to rapid urbanization, rising disposable incomes and relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel, the volume of international trips by Chinese travelers has grown from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million last year.  Expenditure by Chinese tourists abroad has also increased almost eight-fold since 2000. Boosted by an appreciating Chinese currency, Chinese tourists spent 40% more last year.

In 2005, China ranked seventh in international tourism spend and has since successively overtaken Italy, Japan, France and the United Kingdom. With the 2012 surge, China is now No. 1 beating former top dog Germany and the second biggest spender, the United States.

“The impressive growth of tourism expenditure from China…reflects the entry into the tourism market of a growing middle class from these countries, which will surely continue to change the map of world tourism,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Xie xie means thank you.”

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