Chinese tourists' favourite destinations revealed

Chinese tourists outside Buckingham Palace in London. Chinese tourist numbers are booming, with Hong Kong, Macau and South Korea the favourite destinations.
Chinese tourists outside Buckingham Palace in London. Chinese tourist numbers are booming, with Hong Kong, Macau and South Korea the favourite destinations. Photo: Getty Images

Chinese are continuing to travel in overwhelming numbers, with Hong Kong their favourite destination.

On a list of their top 25 destinations in 2012, Hong Kong rates No. 1 with 15.1 million visits, followed by Macau with 7.9 million and South Korea with 3.3 million.

Australia is 15th on the list released by Euromonitor International, with 626,000 visitors in 2012.

Euromonitor, a global market research firm based in London, says Hong Kong's proximity to mainland China, a wide choice of international shops with competitive prices, a good exchange rate and common language are among the reasons that Chinese travel there en masse.

Gambling is another enticement, according to Euromonitor's Michelle Grant.

Australia is capitalising on the Chinese boom, with last week's International Visitors Survey by Tourism Research Australia showing that Chinese visitation hit 646,779 for the year ended June, and spending has risen 19.5 per cent to $3.4 billion.

China has become the second-largest source of tourists for Australia, behind only New Zealand, and Chinese visitors spend more here than they do in any other country.

But Euromonitor suggests the high spend may be partly due to "high accommodation costs and skyrocketing retail prices in Australia".

The survey also showed that the overall number of international visitors coming to Australia grew by 5.1 per cent in 2012-13, with spending increasing 5.8 per cent.

The chief executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum, Ken Morrison, said the results are a good sign.

“We have seen growth in arrivals from every region, despite relatively uncertain economic times throughout much of the world over the year."

Top 25 destinations for Chinese in 2012

Destination - (,000 trips) - 2012 % growth

1 Hong Kong - 15,110.4 - 11.1%

2 Macau - 7,958 - 8.4%

3 South Korea - 3,383.2 - 55%

4 Thailand - 2,820 - 62.2%

5 Taiwan - 2,590.7 - 47.1%

6 Singapore - 2,054.2 - 30.2%

7 US - 1,593.5 - 46%

8 Japan - 1,506.5 - 44.4%

9 Vietnam - 1,428.7 - 0.8%

10 Malaysia - 1,369.3 - 24.6%

11 France - 1,288 - 15%

12 Russia - 830.4 - 16.4%

13 Germany - 762.9 - 19.7%

14 Switzerland - 663.4 - 33%

15 Australia - 626.4 - 15.5%

16 Indonesia - 585.2 - 16%

17 Austria - 356.4 - 37.1%

18 Cambodia - 335 - 35.2%

19 United Arab Emirates - 300.8 - 23.7%

20 Philippines - 291.4 - 20%

21 Italy - 253 - 12.9%

22 Canada - 243 - 2.7%

23 New Zealand - 215.4 - 48%

24 UK - 206.6 - 17.5%

25 Mongolia - 203.8 - 2.5%

Source: Euromonitor International

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