Chinese tourists are spending billions over the next week

Key Points
  • Some 6.5 million Chinese tourists are traveling around the world over the next week during their Spring Festival break.
  • They are expected to spend an average of 9,500 Chinese yuan (about $1,500) each.
A tourist snaps a selfie with the Bridge of Sighs in the background, on January 19, 2018 in Venice.
Andrea Pattaro | AFP | Getty Images

China is entering week-long Lunar New Year holiday and 6.5 million travelers are expected to be spending that break overseas, splashing billions of dollars over the break, according to a report by country's tourism authority and travel website Ctrip.

The number of tourists this year is a 5.7 percent rise from the 6.15 million over the same festive season in 2017.

Each traveler is expected to spend 9,500 Chinese yuan (about $1,500) during their trips, which points to nearly $10 billion in total from those international tourists over just one week. That amount is 5 percent higher than the average amount they spent last year, according to the report by the China Tourism Academy and Ctrip.

Travelers will spend thousands of yuan in some Southeast Asian countries to over 160,000 yuan ($25,200) to Antarctica — a trendy destination for the affluent Chinese.

Top destinations include Thailand, Japan, Singapore and the U.S.

South Korea's fall from the top destination list is benefiting other countries on the list.

Singapore's tourism authority said this week that China has become its top market in terms of visitor numbers for the first time ever. Meanwhile, they were already the biggest spenders on the island state.

With an increasingly affluent and growing middle class, the Chinese are now more willing to spend on experiences and are back in the luxury market.

Service providers are upping their game to cater to these needs.

"You try to create experiences for these customers. Not only do we try to create experiences within the hotel ... but we are also connecting with the local market," said Christoph Schmidinger, general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.

For instance, the luxury hotel is working with other service providers like restaurants, bars and sightseeing firms to create programs for customers, he added.

"We are into creating experiences and this makes customers come back to us," Schmidinger told CNBC on Thursday.

Younger guests want experiences when travelling on holidays
Younger guests want experiences when travelling on holidays

However, reports of unruly tourist behavior aren't making Beijing very happy.

In a circular issued last week with advice to outbound travelers, the Chinese tourism academy reminded tourists to "be mindful of civilized travel."

The Chinese tourists were told to "abide by law, respect local order and customs, behave decently, be polite to others" so as to "reflect a good image of Chinese tourists," said the circular issued in Chinese.

Tourists are also reminded to not doodle and etch graffiti. Chinese tourists have defaced ancient relics including a 3,500-year-old Egyptian temple in recent years, prompting outrage even in China.

China's State Oceanic Administration this month also issued rules for visitor behavior to Antarctica that will restrict any damage to wildlife. Those who breach the rules face a ban of up to three years from the region.

The outbound trips in the next week add to the largest annual migration of people in the world.

During what is known as "chunyun," a 40-day travel season, nearly 3 billion trips are expected to be made using public transport between Feb. 1 and March 12, said China's Ministry of Transport.

Many of those trips are made by city dwellers heading home, but many also visit other cities in the country, with top destinations including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

How much does Lunar New Year cost?
How much does Lunar New Year cost?