Chinese tourists pose for photographs in front of a 7.4-meter-long great white shark replica in Sydney Harbour in Nov, 2014. (Photo by Greg Wood/for China Daily)
A new report issued by United Nations World Tourism Organization shows China led the international outbound tourism in 2015 with the largest population of overseas tourists and most money spent.
The World Tourism Barometer, a regular publication for world tourism trends issued by the UNWTO, says that in 2015, "China, with double-digit growth in expenditure since 2004, continues to lead global outbound travel, benefiting Asian destinations such as Japan and Thailand, as well as the United States and various European destinations".
A total of 120 million Chinese people traveled overseas in 2015, making it the third year in a row that China topped the list of international outbound travelers, according to statistics of China National Administration of Tourism. Chinese tourists spent $194 billion across the world last year.
Popular destinations for Chinese tourists are mainly in Asia, including Thailand, Japan, and Singapore, while the US and France also made the list of favorite countries for Chinese travelers.
In 2015, France, the most popular destination for global tourists, received more than 2 million visitors from China. And France wishes to see the number doubled in a few years by simplifying the procedure for visa application.
Thailand received more than 8 million Chinese travelers last year, over one third of the country's entire inbound tourists.
The latest World Tourism Barometer shows that that a total of 1.18 billion people traveled internationally in 2015, some 50 million more than the previous year,
The report says that "demand was overall strong, though with mixed results across individual destinations due to unusually strong exchange rate fluctuations, the drop in oil prices and other commodities which increased disposable income in importing countries but weakened demand in exporting countries, as well as increased safety and security concerns."
World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that last year tourism industry provided 284 million jobs across the world, accounting for about 9.5 percent of total employment.
Top ten overseas destinations for Chinese travelers in 2015
3. South Korea
4. The United States
9. New Zealand
10. The UK