What increased 11x in a decade?


Outbound Chinese tourism has enjoyed explosive growth over the past decade and there’s plenty more where that came from: only 5% of the Middle Kingdom’s citizens hold a passport, compared with 40% in the U.S. If you worry that Chinese economic data are fake, here are some numbers that may comfort, or startle, you. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Chinese outbound tourism expenditure grew to $261 billion in 2016 (21% of the world market), an increase of 12% from 2015 and 11x of the amount spent a decade earlier. The number of outbound travelers climbed 6% to 135 million in 2016. Numbers like these reinforced China’s No. 1 outbound tourism status in the world since 2012.

So many contradictory elements.

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