Coming near you: Six million Chinese tourists next week

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The Chinese economy may be slowing but that's not stopping a record number of tourists from leaving the country for Lunar New Year holidays next week, when they are also expected to be ringing up sales across major cities.

This year, six million Chinese will be on the move out of China over the week-long holidays that start officially on Sunday, according to Ctrip, a major online travel site in the world's second-largest economy. That represents a 15 percent increase over the 5.2 million travelers over the Lunar New Year season last year.

"China travelers into (gateway cities like) Hong Kong and Singapore continue to be quite healthy despite all the news you hear about the China economy being weaker than folks want it to be," said Expedia's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi on CNBC's Squawk Box.

Indeed, the travel booking website found in a recent study that people in only four more countries tend to fly more than in China.

According to the China National Tourism Administration, Chinese tourists undertook more than 120 million trips overseas in 2015, many of whom helped support growth in the countries they visited.

In 2014, Chinese tourists splashed $165 billion overseas, a 28 percent rise from a year ago, the World Tourism Organization found in a report released recently.

The Chinese' favorite countries for shopping are Japan and South Korea, which are particularly popular now due to safety concerns after last November's terrorist attacks in Paris and due to a rising U.S. dollar, said Brian Buchwald, chief executive of consumer intelligence company, Bomoda.

But despite the increase in Chinese heading overseas, not all pockets of the retail industry are benefiting proportionately as the government starts to crackdown on corruption. Sale of men's luxury watches have fallen as fewer officials head out on junkets although women's fashion items have fared better.

In fact, sales of fine jewelry may stand to gain from the ongoing turmoil in the Chinese currency as consumers "exchange their depreciating local currency into diamonds and gold that should retain value over time," added Buchwald.

Wang Qisheng | Xinhua | Getty Images

Top 10 travel destinations for the Chinese this Lunar New Year season:

1. Thailand

2. Japan

3. South Korea

4. Taiwan

5. Singapore

6. Hong Kong

7. U.S.

8. Indonesia

9. Malaysia

10. Australia

Source: Ctrip

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