While some locals may loathe Chinese tourists, there are those who are happy to welcome mainland Chinese visitors to their country. For instance, anyone selling anything.
Over the past decade, China has been breaking its own records each year when it comes to the number of outbound tourists it is sending out into the world. These tens of millions of travelers come back with stories, memories and enough stuff to prop up the economies of small island states.
They have also made a not negligible impact on the world’s largest economy. According to a Xinhua report, 2.59 million Chinese visited the United States in 2015, an 18% increase from 2014 and a bigger number than the population of New Mexico.
While visiting the land of free, many tourists indulged themselves, spending a total of $26.9 billion, or $74 million a day. That might even be enough to pay for Donald Trump’s wall.
Almost 30% of that money was spent shopping. The Chinese are the world’s biggest luxury shoppers, spending $183 billion last year to buy up half of the world’s luxury goods.
According to our math, the average Chinese tourist ended up spending over $10,000 while staying in the US last year. For a country with a per capita income of around $8,000, that’s rather impressive, and it’s thanks in part to a growing middle-class that wants to go abroad and see the world’s shopping malls.
Countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and France are seeing more Chinese tourists than ever before. The only ones that aren’t cashing in big right now seem to be those in Taiwan’s tourist sector. Thanks to icy relationships between Beijing and the new leadership in Taipei, China has been cutting down on the number of tourists allowed to visit Taiwan each month. The Taiwanese travel industry is asking the government to tackle this costly problem.
After all, who knows what the future might be bring.