AsiaNews) - With 100 million tourists who visited at least one foreign country
in the course of 2013 , China has overtaken the U.S. to claim first place in
" exporting " its citizens. According
to data from the National Tourism
Administration , the Chinese abroad were 97 million in 2013, a considerable
increase compared to the past : in 2004 they had exceeded 29 million.
The amount of money spent abroad is also up. Not counting airfare and hotel accommodations , Chinese tourists spent about $ 110 billion in 2013 compared with 102 the previous year. They have exceeded not only the Americans, but also the Germans in this field, until today, "the biggest spenders" in foreign markets and shops .
Song Rui, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, explains: "Our tourists spend so much abroad that some foreigners have begun to call them the 'walking wallets' ." The analysis is not overwhelming: more and more high scale hotels and shops are trying to attract Chinese visitors : Harrods , the famous London store , has recently hired 70 employees who speak Mandarin . Also inside, the megastore has more than 100 terminals in China Unionpay , which allow direct payments from bank accounts in China.