China is home to the world's fastest growing travel market. With 65 million outbound departures expected this year, the UN World Travel Organization estimates that there will be 100 million Chinese outbound trips by 2020.
Travel has become a top priority for the newly wealthy in a country where few used to travel outside its enormous borders. Chinese tourists are spending more money on their travels abroadâ€”boosting tourism industries in countries around the world.
National carriers from the Middle East to New Zealand are rushing to launch new direct flights to a number of cities in China. In 2010, more than 450,000 Chinese visitors spent $3 billion in Australia, which was 20 percent more than the year before.
The industry is famous for its large-scale group travel, with groups as large as 12,000 traveling to Europe, according to Peter Harbison, executive chairman of the Centre of Asia Pacific Aviation.
Hotels and tour companies around the world are gearing up to meet this demand. The iconic Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, for example, has hired a number of Chinese speaking staff, created brochures and programs in Mandarin, and added Chinese cuisine to its menu to accommodate this growing trend.