Chinese tourism in Europe - Statistics & Facts

The recent boom in Chinese tourism has created a storm across the global travel industry. Rapid urbanization, higher disposable incomes and fewer restrictions on travel are allowing more and more Chinese tourists to explore their country and beyond. Spending on international tourism has increased dramatically over the last ten years, with China overtaking the United States for total tourist spending. For tourism officials in Europe, the increase in tourist arrivals from China has not gone unnoticed. In 2018 the European Commission and European Travel Commission collaborated to launch the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, as a way of promoting destinations and improving the tourism experience. The number of Schengen visas issued, that allow travel within the 26 European nations comprising the Schengen Zone, reached 2.4 million in 2017.

Around 5.6 million trips were made from China to Western Europe alone in 2017, although Central and Eastern European destinations are also gaining popularity. Across the whole of the EU (28 countries), around 24.8 million nights were spent by Chinese tourists in 2016. The United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany were four of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists that year, with the largest share of nights spent in the UK. The UK experienced a significant rise in visitors from China in 2015, over 40 percentage points above the average inbound tourism rate. Since then, tourism from China has remained high, firmly placing China as an important inbound market for Britain. Chinese tourist expenditure in the UK peaked in 2017 at 694 million British pounds.

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